Two bronze horses stolen from Downpatrick racecourse

Course manager said it was the second time the statues were stolen

Police and the manager of Downpatrick Racecourse have appealed for public assistance in trying to recover two bronze horses stolen from the Co Down course at the weekend.

The manager of the course Richard Lyttle said this was the second time the statues were stolen. On the previous occasion they ended up in France.

Mr Lyttle said the statues went missing sometime on Friday night or Saturday morning.

He said they were situated fairly high up on gate columns about three metres each in height. He estimated the size of each statue to be about 90 cm in height and just less that a metre in width.


“They were embedded in concrete so they would have had to be removed forcibly. So I think that suggests who ever took them had a plan and knew what they were doing,” said Mr Lyttle.

He said that a number of decades ago the two bronze statues which are located at the entrance to the course were stolen. He said they “made their way to France” where they were recovered.

He said they were known as “Marley horses” and he believed they were replicas of horses that are on the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

He urged anyone with information to bring it to the police. “The horses are the first thing people see as they enter the gates of the racecourse, and we would love to have them back in their rightful place,” said Mr Lyttle.

PSNI Inspector Leslie Badger also appealed to anyone with information, or anyone who may be offered the horses for sale, to notify the police.

Gerry Moriarty

Gerry Moriarty

Gerry Moriarty is the former Northern editor of The Irish Times