Prize rodeo horses found in Walmart parking lot after being stolen from children before competition

A family visiting Georgia from Tennessee have been reunited with their prized horses.

A firefighter recognized the trailer after seeing it on the news detailing how the horses were stolen from a Henry County Walmart.

The horses were found at another Walmart in Ellenwood -- hungry but in good health.

The family told WSB's Matt Johnson that they were thankful the firefighter was in the right place at the right time.

Bree Roark, 12, and her brother Weston, 9, have been around horses for most of their young lives. So, when someone stole them just before a competition, it broke their hearts.

“I just cried for about … I don’t know, a long time,” Bree told Johnson

Someone stole their truck and horse trailer Friday night from a McDonough Walmart. They live in the Chattanooga area and they had stopped in Henry County before a competition this weekend in Perry.

“We were afraid we were going to be going home to an empty barn,” mother Terry Roark told Johnson.

Now they're full of joy that their horses have been recovered.

He told the family he recognized it from a WSBTV report on Saturday.

“I just want to thank him (the firefighter) so much because he doesn’t know how much it means to us that we got them back,” Bree said.

Locust Grove police stayed with the horses until the family could get there. Henry County veterinarian Diane Febles is helping to nurse the horses back to full strength.

“She said they were in very good condition. She was surprised, considering the weekend that they had,” Terry Roark said.

The family doesn’t know who took the horses or why. The parents are just happy they won’t have to see any more tears.

“The horses belong to children, it was never about anything else,” Terry Roark said.

It wasn’t the same, but Bree said she was still able to compete this weekend when a friend let her use another horse.

The family said police are reviewing surveillance video from the Walmart for any clues about the culprits.

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