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A large statue of a hare worth £19,000 was stolen from a stand at the Badminton Horse Trials.

The four-foot tall bronze statue, made by Somerset artist Jan Sweeny, was on show at a trade stand at the famous horse jumping event when it was taken.

Badminton Horse Trials is known for show-jumping and dressage but became the scene of a crime when the statue and its hamstone base were taken. Police say the statue was stolen overnight on Saturday (7 May).

Avon and Somerset police are appealing for any witnesses and believe it may have been a group job.

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PC Matt Leigh said: “Being bronze, the statue weighs a considerable amount and so it's likely more than one person was involved in removing it from the trade stand it was on display at.

“We're keen to hear from anyone who may have seen it being removed or transported and are also asking those at Badminton today to keep an eye out for it.

“If you have information which could help us recover the statue and find those responsible for the theft, please call 101 and provide the call handler with the reference 5222108421.”

The Badminton Horse Trials is a five-day event that takes place in either April or May every year.

It’s held in south Gloucestershire in the park of Badminton House, which is the residence of the Duke of Beaufort.

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