‘Whoever did that has got more guts than I have’ - thieves steal horse from Norfolk mansion of champion boxer Herbie Hide
09:00 21 August 2014
Horse rustlers have targeted Herbie Hide’s Bawburgh mansion, stealing his daughter’s prized steed.
The former world heavyweight boxing champion had bought four horses for him and his three children when he was released from prison earlier this year.
He had been sentenced to 22 months last November, reduced to 18 months on appeal, after he admitted conspiring to sell cocaine following a sting by The Sun newspaper’s “fake sheikh” Mazher Mahmood.
Mr Hide said he had asked his children what they wanted him to buy for them to make up for being in jail over Christmas.
The family travelled to the famous Appleby Horse Fair, in Cumbria, and bought four gypsy cob horses for a total of £20,000.
He said that Mischief - the horse belonging to his nine-year-old daughter Hana - was “one of the most beautiful horses you’ve ever seen”.
And he was devastated when he awoke to find Mischief was missing from the paddock at his Long Lane mansion on Tuesday morning.
He believes thieves - who managed to evade his CCTV cameras - had observed his movements and struck under cover of night, using a low loader.
“To think someone could come into my yard and take my horse is terrifying,” he said. “Whoever did that has got more guts than I have.
“I’m still in shock. The person knew where to go as the cameras never saw the person.”
He said his daughter Hana was inconsolable, and that he understood her feeling of loss after the death of his younger brother Alan, following a battle with leukaemia.
“She calls that horse ‘my baby’,” he explained. “I love that horse because of the way Hana is with that horse.
“It breaks my heart to see her upset.
“I will pay anything to stop her feeling like that.”
He said the family, including his other children Haley, 12, and Henry, 15, would walk the horses from his house to the river every day.
“Every car that goes through Bawburgh, they stop and stroke the horse,” he said. “Kids all stop and see how lovely the horses were - what beautiful horses.”
He said in his native Nigeria there were extreme punishments for theft, and he could not understand how somebody could be so cruel.
He is offering a reward for the safe return of the horse.
A Norfolk police spokesman said: “I can confirm we received a report of theft from an address on Long Lane in Bawburgh on Tuesday.
“A horse wasstolen from the paddock overnight.”
Officers visited Mr Hide yesterday to obtain further details.
Call police with information on 101.