A family and their beloved horse are happy once more after they were left stranded 300km from home.
Rachael Ford and her daughter Montana Evans, along with horse Lucky Assassin, made the journey from Leeton to Canowindra for the town's annual Show.
The event they were set to take part in was cancelled due to the wet weather, however they decided to stay for a few days anyway.
But on Saturday night, thieves stole their car and horse float, which left them without a way to get themselves and their horse back to the Riverina.But four days after all hope seemed lost, a couple of friends came to the rescue. Deidre Kinghorn from Clifton Grove and Anna Blackburn from Bathurst, both friends of Ms Ford, volunteered to drive the horse home in one of their own floats.
"I was shocked when I heard what had happened. Why do people do this. It was just unbelievable," Mrs Kinghorn said of the theft.
So at 8am on Wednesday, the pair began their journey to retrieve the horse and return it to Leeton, while Ms Ford and her daughter also managed to borrow a car so they could also head home that same day.
"We had a few issues getting the horse on the float as he shot down the driveway, but he stopped before he got to the road thankfully," Mrs Kinghorn added.
"He turned back to the horses that were in the paddock but we managed to get him and load him on.
"He never moved the whole way there, he was really good. We got lost heading to Leeton and ended up going through Temora but we managed to back up to the gateway and Montana sobbed her heart out when we got the horse home. It was really nice to see him home."
All in all, the journey took them roughly nine-and-a-half hours from start to finish.
"We were just glad to get him home and see Montana smile," Mrs Kinghorn said.
"She wanted to walk that horse home, that girl was determined."
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But while that part of the story had a happy ending, Ms Ford is still no closer to recovering her stolen car or horse float.
"I'm putting a plea out there for whoever has done this to show some decency and return the car and float," Mrs Kinghorn said.
"At the least they could leave it somewhere that police can find it."
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