Berry Family Photo
The Berry family is offering a $5,000 reward for the return of their stolen horse, Sandbox.
The reward for a stolen horse has been increased to $8,000 after Resistol Hats kicked-in $2,500 and Cowboy Militia ponied up $500 for the missing 9-year-old mare.
On his horse, Kirby Berry looks like a tough guy. But the exterior quickly crumbles as soon as you ask him about his son's missing horse, Sandbox. How do you make a cowboy cry? Steal his son's favorite horse.
"Oh, she's got a big ol,' kind eye and (is) real pretty to look at," he said.
Sandbox was stolen over the weekend at a team roping competition in Stephenville.
"She was the best horse," said Kade Berry, Sandbox's owner and a 6-year-old cowboy-in-training.
He said the theft "made me feel sad."
Micah Berry, Kade's mother, said it was "pure panic" when they realized early Sunday morning that the horse was gone.
"I burnt the battery up in this phone four times yesterday just texting and calling and e-mailing and Twittering," she said.
The Berrys purchased Sandbox seven years ago, specifically for their children to ride, and they think she was stolen for the same reason.
"I'm pretty sure somebody saw that boy riding that horse all day yesterday and was thinking they already had somebody looking for a young-kid horse they could sell real quick," Kirby Berry said.
He said he did not think the theft was random.
"There (were) 300 head of horses in that barn," Berry said. "She was three rows in, in the middle of that barn. They had to go pick her out."
Sandbox is dark reddish-black with a scar on her back right hip, 15 hands high and 1,200 pounds. The "Find Sandbox the Horse" Facebook page also reports she has a small split in the very top of her left ear, another identifying mark that can't be altered by horse thieves.
Kade has a simple request of whoever has her.
"Can you just give me back my horse?" he said.
The family is offering a $5,000 reward for Sandbox's return. Resistol added $2,500 to the reward, and Cowboy Militia added $500 making the total $7,500.
As of Wednesday morning the "Find Sandbox the Horse" Facebok page had more than 3,500 followers.
More: Facebook: Find Sandbox the Horse