Crosskennan Lane Animal Sanctuary (CLAS) in Antrim, is appealing for help in locating River, a heavily pregnant piebald mare, who was stolen from the charity’s fields between 10pm Wednesday 1st July and 8am Thursday 2nd July 2015. The £1,000 reward offered for her safe return has been donated by one of the charity’s supporters .

The quiet mare and her yearling foal came into the Northern Ireland charity’s care as part of a multi-horse rescue. River was in a special field with other pregnant mares who had all come from welfare situations and were just beginning to enjoy the care they needed. The trusting mare would not have run away when approached by the culprits but would have struggled to stay with her last year’s foal who had not yet been weaned. He is very distressed at the cruel and sudden separation from his mother and it is hoped that this stress will not have a detrimental effect on River’s unborn foal.

Lyn Friel, founder and manager of CLAS, says: "We would urge everyone to look at the photos of River and see if they have seen her anywhere. She could have already been moved to the South of Ireland or to anywhere in the UK. 

"She has been illegally removed from a place of safety and in this heat and in her pregnant condition, she is in grave danger unless properly looked after. She may have had her foal by now and we appeal to the public to help us find her.  Please keep looking at your local sales, websites and auctions for River who may be with a foal or on her own.

"River and her foal were rescued from certain death only a few weeks ago - it is utterly tragic that what should have been the start of a new life for her has been so cruelly taken away. The more we can keep circulating her picture, the more chance we have of getting her back.”

In light of recent events, the sanctuary are taking steps to increase security at Crosskennan to keep all of the rescued animals safe and secure.

If you have any information about River, or would like to make a donation to help fund the increased security measures, please get in touch with Crosskennan Lane Animal Sanctuary. 

Tel: (028) 9446 5384 or email: 

Donations can be made online via 

The theft is being investigated by PSNI who have also appealed for anyone who was in the area and saw any suspicious activity or knows of the whereabouts of the horse to contact police at Antrim on 101 or Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111

Please help to increase the security at Crosskennan and help keep the animals safe and secure. The search continues for the stolen mare River so please contact the sanctuary if you have any information!