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Another horse abandoned in Ruxley Lane in Epsom
A mystery horse abandoned on church ground in Epsom four months ago has been retrieved by its owner - only to be replaced by a smaller one.
A male horse, known as Barry or Champion, was left on land in Ruxley Lane, which is owned by Ruxley Church, on Boxing Day morning.
Concerned neighbours said many organisations would be happy to provide a home for it, but the RSPCA said the horse had not been officially abandoned, so it could not be rescued.
Last Monday, April 23, the horse was seen being led away by its owner, who is believed to live locally, but another horse took its place.
The latest horse, referred to as Pinto, is again being fed and cared-for by residents, but the church’s land being re-developed in a matter of weeks.
Reverend Stuart Thomas, of Ruxley Church,said: "We have no idea where the first horse went - it was last seen wandering off down the road with its owner.
"Then a smaller version of it took its place, which would have to belong to the same owner as he claims to have several.
"We are doing our best to resolve the situation - we want the building work to start the week after next and the owner will have to remove it by then."
Mr Thomas said notices of abandonment are being put up next to the horse, but the church will have to wait and see whether the owner officially abandons it.
He said: "We are in communication of a sort with the owner. We leave letters and notices up on the fence, but I have had no direct contact for quite a while now.
"The notices say that if the horse is not removed by the owner within 14 days it will be re-homed.
"The RSPCA, like the police, is aware of the situation but can’t do anything because there is no direct cruelty involved."