Two thoroughbreds stolen from Altrincham stables
Two thoroughbred horses have been stolen from stables in Greater Manchester.
Owner Kimberley Platt called police when she realised the horses had been taken from their paddock in Woodcote Road, Altrincham, early on Friday.
Following a search they were found a few miles away just after 0900 BST. Mrs Platt said without the police she would not have got the horses back.
She believes the force helicopter may have scared the thieves away.
"The gate was open and that's when reality set in and I realised somebody has taken the two horses," she said.
"They are fine, they've not been harmed but they are shaken, they're a bit nervous and anxious but they are back home, they are rested and I just need to take care of them," she said.
"If there was no police presence, we know I'd never have got those horses back, ever.
"It's hard once your horse has gone, you do all you can, you chip them, you freeze (mark) them, there's no way, usually you don't get the horses back.
"I didn't expect to see those horses ever again."
Mrs Platt has two other horses - standard cobs - which were left behind.
"It's not just me, all our stables, everywhere that we know, we all have to be careful because they're [thieves] all after the thoroughbreds," she said.
Anyone with information has been urged to contact police.
Insp Clark Bowers, based at Altrincham, said: "We do not now know why the horses were later abandoned in nearby fields.
"We do know however that they were kindly kept there by a neighbouring farm until they were returned to their rightful owners."
Greater Manchester Police is also investigating the theft of a grey horse from a field in Carrington, Trafford, between 2100 BST on Sunday and 1730 BST on Monday. It has not been found.
Officers are trying to establish whether there is a connection between the two incidents, a spokesman said.