Itty-bitty Charly, a two-foot tall horse being billed as the world’s smallest pony, has been snatched from his itty-bitty pony stall at an equestrian event in the Umbrian town of Città di Castello.
Italian police believe the Mafia may be holding him for ransom.
The pint-sized show pony was in the central Italian town for the 47th National Horse Fair. He was scheduled to perform at the show with his trainer, ‘equestrian artist’ Bartolo Messina, who alerted police when he found Charly’s stall empty.
“I never imagined having to write this but unfortunately it has happened and I feel empty, violated and destroyed!” lamented Messina in a post on his Facebook page.
Police said that the thieves broke in through a wire fence surrounding the fairgrounds, swiped the pony and made a hasty escape through a nearby tobacco field where a getaway car was waiting.
“The problem is that this pony is so easy to transport because he is so small – like a dog,” a spokesperson from the show told The Local.
Police are investigating the theory that the mafia may be involved and believe the thieves could be holding the pony for ransom.
A spokesman for the Carabinieri in Citta di Castello said, “Investigations are continuing. We are not excluding any possibilities including that the perpetrators are part of a criminal organization.”
The president of the National Horse Show, Angelo Capecci, called the theft “a shameful act.” He added, “We were victims of a serious crime that offends and humiliates the equine world.”
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