A HORSE has been rustled from his home in downtown Footscray.
His name is Chester, his coat is white, he stands about 2m tall and he has been “grazing” the footpath outside Footscray Paint Spot for almost 30 years.
Chester is a local icon, a navigation point for passing motorists, and the paint shop’s beloved fibreglass mascot.
Owner Chris Dobinson said staff carried the 25kg model out to his usual spot on the corner of Albert and Buckley Streets early on Friday morning, but by about 9.30am he was gone.
“He was tethered to a pole,” said Mr Dobinson.
Due to his size, he believe the thieves must have hoofed it in a ute.
“I’ve been carrying him in and out day and night for the past 30 or so years,” he said.
“I’m disappointed, but I’m confident of him coming back. It’s pretty hard to hide a six or seven foot horse.”
Chester was originally used in a Wattle Paints marketing campaign in the 1970s and 1980s.
Over the years the beloved steed had given rides to children, drunk people and local characters.
Whenever Chester was looking a bit drab they’d simply give him a new coat of paint.
“Last year for the Year of the Horse we painted him red. We got bored a few years ago and painted him blue.”
Mr Dobinson said he planned to call the police to report his stolen horse.