AN Army veteran been devastated by the discovery of his beloved warhorse – dead in a ditch miles from where she went missing.

Ricky Fenwick, 47, of Chester-le-Street, had made an impassioned plea for help in finding the highly-trained mare Reiver, who had helped him overcome his post traumatic stress disorder.

Mr Fenwick, who led the Queen’s Bays reenactment group on tours across the UK and Europe, believed the horse had been stolen after a fence was knocked down in the field where she was kept in nearby Plawsworth, between Tuesday and Wednesday morning.

But on Monday he heard Reiver had been found in a ditch three miles away, apparently suffering a broken leg.

The Northern Echo: Ricky Fenwick and his beloved Reiver.Ricky Fenwick and his beloved Reiver.

Mr Fenwick said: “She has probably been there since Wednesday. She could well have been lying in that ditch while we were searching for her.

“She could have been alive then. She may have died of dehydration.”

He added: “Maybe she got away while they were trying to take her. About 15 ft of the fence had been knocked down and there’s now way she could have done that.

The Northern Echo: Ricky Fenwick and ReiverRicky Fenwick and Reiver

“I would like to think that she escaped fighting. She lived up to her character as a warhorse and fought.

Mr Fenwick, who runs the reenactment group, said: “I suffer from PTSD and Reiver changed my life. She made me the man I am now. I have had her for two-and-half years and trained her from the outset."

The Northern Echo: Reiver at the Menin GateReiver at the Menin Gate

Mr Fenwick served for ten years with The Life Guards, which is part of the Household Cavalry. The former lance corporal was on active tour in Bosnia in the late 1990s, when his armoured vehicle was blown up by a landmine.

While he was not wounded others were and the traumatic incident left him suffering from PTSD. Training Riever helped him heal from his PTSD.

He said: “We are planning on taking her back to France - taking her ashes to the Somme or somewhere like that."