LOUISVILLE, Ky (WDRB) -- A Fairdale family is heartbroken over a missing pony it says was stolen from their barn early Thursday morning.

Frances Corum has owned her horse Spirit for more than 12 years. But on Thursday morning, she said someone stole the pony from her barn in the middle of the night.

Around 5 a.m., Corum noticed Spirit missing from his stall. After a search of her four-acre property, she noticed the back chain to the gate had been cut with bolt cutters.

“We are heartbroken,” Corum said. “They had to have a good sized bolt cutter to cut this.”

Corum noticed hoof prints in the mud just outside the gate. She knew instantly the prints were from Spirit, because he is the her only horse that doesn’t have shoes.

“They knew what they were looking for when they came into the barn," Corum said. "They walked past all my other horses to get to him."

Spirit has distinctive markings that sets him aside from other horses: tan with white legs, black patches and a stripe down his leg.

“There is not another horse marked like him," Corum said. "They might be close, but there is no two marked like him."

The past few nights, Corum has been sleeping in her truck near the back of her property for fear someone may come back and try to steal another horse.

Spirit was the first horse many of Corum’s grandchildren first learned to ride on. He has competed in several events and was shown at 4-H events.

“It’s devastating. We are worried sick. I sat back here for two nights in the truck wondering if they were going to come back and try something else,” Corum said. “If I don’t act on this fast, he may get further away than I can get him.”

Corum has filed a police report and is asking the public to come forward if they may have seen Spirit.

She is offering a cash reward for his safe return.

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