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The horse, which came from an Invercargill City Council playground, was at Southern Industrial Coatings awaiting maintenance and repainting and Mr Hair says if it cannot be found the company might have to spend $8000 on a replacement.
He has reported the theft to the police and offered a reward of $500, but said yesterday he was prepared to increase that to $2000 providing the horse was recovered and someone was convicted of its theft.
''You can't buy horses like this any more, you have to make them. The council has been pretty good about it so far, but it is our problem and eventually the council will need a horse in its playground again.''
It took a small crane to lift the four-seater horse from the back of a truck on Friday, February 28, and place it in the yard outside the engineering workshop in Annan St, he said.
''We think it would take two very, very strong people plus to lift it, and a tandem trailer to take it away.''
Staff searched nearby streets in case the horse had been placed nearby as a ''drunken prank'', but it was nowhere to be seen, Mr Hair said.
''We don't know if someone is planning to put it in their garden or what. The scrap value would only be about $100.''