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Horse Lovers are Urged to Be on the Lookout for Two Missing Virginia Horses

A Westphalian gelding and Hanoverian mare disappeared from their home on January 17.

By Edited Press Release | 18-Jan-11

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Missing Hanoverian mare AprilUPDATE (1/19/11 4:00 pm ET): The horses have been found! Click here to read the rest of the story.

Original Article: Westphalian and Hanoverian horses Alphie and April, are missing and presumed stolen from Raphine, Virginia, on January 17, 2011. The horses were discovered missing around dusk Monday afternoon by owner Ann Turnicky. Ann is asking everyone in the area to be on the lookout for the two horses that are like children to her.

After a full's day work Ann arrived home finding two of her three horses missing, leaving her devastated. She is doing everything she can to find her beloved horses ever since, including contacting and working closely with Stolen Horse International, so Alfie and April could be posted on the nonprofit organization’s website:

Once Alerts (the equine version of an AMBER Alert) were issued, NetPosse volunteers began distributing Alfie and April’s flyer and web page by the thousands through their online contacts and list groups. Since the alert, word has spread quickly, which is helpful — any stolen horse could be transported across the United States in days, even across a border into Canada or Mexico, or sold at auction several times within a few days’ time.

“I was dumbfounded,” Ann Turnicky said. “My horses don't jump out; they have plenty of grass to eat. They are treated like movie stars and are my children, really. Words cannot express my grief, my disbelief.”

Horse theft is not a crime that went out with the “Old West Days” as many would think. It is alive and thriving in the U.S. today. It is estimate that thousands of horses are missing each year. With the help of volunteers through, many horses are recovered, and there is hope for victims like Ann Turnicky . Still, others remain missing with their owners living in fear that their horse will end up in one of the slaughter facilities in Canada and Mexico.

“I bred April myself and watched her first romp in the paddock. She is not even five and I have watched her grow into a fine young mare,” Ann told Debi Metcalfe, President of Stolen Horse International in a recent phone conversation. “Alfie, my 10 year old gelding, has been mine for six years now. He has a home for life with me and we were planning to compete again in just a few weeks.”

“We received our report right after these horses were reported to law enforcement as stolen,” says Metcalfe. “We are not sure how they are missing but we are assuming the worse based on the victim’s statement and theft report. We have a good chance of finding them and bringing them home if people are willing to take a moment of their time to help.”

Missing Westphalian gelding Alfie“I talked with Ann and my heart was breaking right along with hers,” say Metcalfe. “I, too, am a victim of theft, and I know how it feels. I’ve been working with victims ever since our horse was stolen in 1997 and recovered 51 weeks later.”

“I feel as though my children have been snatched. Now I understand what those grieving mothers you see on TV feel like. My children are not here. I gave them a safe home, a loving home. I thought they were safe.”

Ann Turnicky adds, “Clearly they were not.”

Please help Ann Turnicky find April and Alfie. Go to to see all lost and stolen horse listings, or click here to go directly to Alfie and April's flyer. Anyone can print a flyer to post in area feed or tack stores, auctions barns, restaurants or convenience stores – anywhere people congregate. You don’t have to be a horse owner to help.

Click here for tips on protecting your horses from theft.

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Horse Lovers are Urged to Be on the Lookout for Two Missing Virginia Horses

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Reader Comments

Kiki    Naperville, IL

1/19/2011 10:31:02 PM

I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. Best wishes in your search.

Beth K    Raphine, VA

1/19/2011 11:04:42 AM

She found them!

Tina    Livemore, CA

1/19/2011 7:19:37 AM

Im sorry to hear of your loss. I hope that will be returned to you soon. I also raised my gelding for a foal and its would be hard to lose him, he a part of my life. I will pray to the heaven that your "kids" are returned safely! Wish I was out there to help! Blessed Be!

Debi    Shelby, NC

1/18/2011 12:41:23 PM

Here is the link to the flyer. Oops! It was not in the PR above.

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