A SICK pony was dragged from its stables by youths who then rode it.

Anne Sarmiento, 59, of Little Stanney, has been rescuing unwanted ponies for years and has 10 in her care.

But on Sunday night youths broke into her stables on Rake Lane leaving a trail of destruction, with a pony and rabbits running free – and taking a 25-year-old aging Shetland pony with them.

Ms Sarmiento, a foster carer, said: “We left the farm just after 7pm. We’d put them to bed and everything was locked up.

“Then my friend went up at 9.15pm to put his pony away and he found the colt was running around and the door was broken.

“I have a static caravan there and they’d ripped the door off.

“We found that the little old mare was missing. I was concerned in case there was an accident and she went onto the road.”

The fence had been damaged where the 30-inch tall pony had been dragged out.

A search party scoured the neighbourhood until there was a sighting at 10.15pm on Stanney Grange.

Ms Sarmiento added: “One kid was trying to ride her. They dumped her by the side of the motorway on the green by Stanney Grange.

“She was in a terrible state. She was totally traumatised.

“There were about four boys and two girls.”

Ms Sarmiento, who has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, has asked CCTV operators at Cheshire Oaks to see if they have footage of the yobs from 7-9.30pm.

She is getting two CCTV cameras of her own installed to deter offenders.

“I can’t understand how cruel they could be,” added Ms Sarmiento.

“They went to a lot of trouble to drag this pony out – because she’s so ill she can hardly walk.

“We’re just absolutely heartbroken.”

Police spokeswoman Shelley Williams appealed for anyone who may have seen anyone behaving suspiciously in the area around the stables or surrounding fields on Sunday evening.to get in touch.

She added: “This was a callous and thoughtless act as the pony is in poor health, and due to its small size is vulnerable to passing motorists.”

Anyone with any information should contact Ellesmere Port NPU on 0845 458 0000 quoting incident 916 May 22.