Calling Ace Ventura, pet detective: The world’s smallest horse is missing.
Charly, the pintsize pony, measuring 63 cm (about two feet) tall, is believed to have been stolen last week from the 47th National Horse Show in Città di Castello, in the central region of Umbria, Italy, according to Australia’s News.com.
Police say the tiny equine could be held for ransom and his owner may be asked to pony up a big price for his return.
Thieves cut through a wire fence last Thursday night around Charly’s enclosure on the fairgrounds. They then escaped through a nearby tobacco field, the Local reports.
”The problem is that this pony is so easy to transport because he is so small — like a dog,” a spokesperson from the show told the publication.
Bartolo Messina, the show pony’s owner, alerted police when he found Charly’s stall empty, according to the Daily Mail.
"I never imagined having to write this but unfortunately it has happened and I feel empty, violated, destroyed," distraught owner Messina posted on Sept. 13 on Facebook. “Help me find him, anyone with news ... Please contact me,” he added.
Charly has an undeniable charm. On a recent video, the cute caramel-colored minihorse with blonde mane and tail prances around an arena, while balancing on two legs and bucking to the beat of the music. His tiny head comes up to his handler's waist.
Angelo Capecci, president of the horse show, described the theft to the Local as a “very serious criminal act that offends and humiliates all in the horse world.”