Edmonton

'Bring them home': Alberta family pleads for safe return of 6 stolen horses

An Alberta family is pleading for the safe return of six horses stolen from their ranch southwest of Edmonton.

'I don't think they realize what they've done and how much it's affected me and my family'

Breton RCMP are investigating after six horses were stolen from a ranch southwest of Edmonton. (Breton RCMP)

An Alberta family is pleading for the safe return of six horses stolen from their ranch southwest of Edmonton.

"Bring them home safely," said Cornelia Cameron, who was raised on the elk ranch along Highway 13 between Buck Lake and Winfield. "They are a big part of our family and our lives. They're very loved."

"I don't think they realize what they've done and how much it's affected me, and my family." 

Thieves snuck onto the Thunder Valley Ranch property in Wetaskiwin County during the night of Dec. 6 and drove off with six horses, Breton RCMP said.

Cameron, 17, was returning from school when she realized the animals were missing. Together they are worth nearly $100,000, she said.

'Am I ever going to see them again?'

Her parents were away on business and she had been left in charge of the sprawling property that has been in her family for more than three generations. 

Cameron noticed the horses had been moved into an outdoor pen overnight and got an uneasy feeling.

"I thought, 'That's strange,' so I went out to check on them. And they were physically locked in there, and a chain was wrapped around the gate, so I thought, 'Someone did this and it wasn't me.'

Thieves used oats to lure horses

"And then I was counting them, and I was six short. I thought, 'Am I ever going to see them again?' "
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      Tire tracks led up to the gate and there were oats on the ground, said Cameron. She suspects someone used the feed to lure the horses into the back of a trailer. 

      In all, five geldings and a mare were stolen. The horses were named Socorro, Peppy, Willard, Solstice, Buddy and Zoro. Some of the horses have been part of the family for more than 10 years.

      'It's very heartbreaking'

      "It's hard," Cameron said. "I just hope that they don't get hurt and that we can find them."

      Cameron said the animals are invaluable to the family. Socorro, a Hanoverian jumper gelding, is Cameron's show-jumping horse. She raised it from a foal.

      Another missing animal is her sister's childhood pony.

      "Money can make people do terrible things," she said.  "I cried all afternoon and all night. It's hard. It feels very personal.

      "It's very heartbreaking."
      One of the six horses stolen from the Cameron family's central Alberta ranch near Winfield. (Breton RCMP)
       RCMP have released detailed descriptions of the stolen horses and are asking for tips from the public in the case.

      • Socorro - 2006 all grey Hanoverian gelding, 16.3 hands high, Hanoverian brand on back left hip, scar on back right leg
      • Peppy - 2001 dun quarter-horse gelding, white blaze on face, 14.2 hands high, brand on front left shoulder
      • Willard - 2001 roan quarter-horse gelding, 16 hands high, brand on front left shoulder, wide white blaze on face, three white stockings on front right and both back legs
      • Solstice - 2009 chestnut Hanoverian mare, 16 hands high, four white socks, half stripe and star on face
      • Buddy - 2010 all grey quarter-horse gelding, 15 hands high
      • Zoro - 2008 bay quarter-horse gelding, 14.2 hands high, with scar on back left leg

      Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact Breton RCMP or Crime Stoppers.