Cycling UK is appealing for information following the theft of a life-size fibreglass cow that was due to go up for auction. Cycling Moo Kay – one of more than 60 brightly-coloured cows to have gone on show as part of the Surrey Hills CowParade – was unbolted from its plinth at the top of Box Hill at some point between 8pm on Thursday and 6am on Friday.
Held in dozens of cities and other locations worldwide since its launch in Zurich in 1998, CowParade has raised millions of pounds for charity, with the statues auctioned off at the end of each exhibition.
A second cow at the Box Hill site – Sustrans’ Bunnyhop, sponsored by Openhouse Creative – was also removed from its plinth but not taken.
Tim Metson, Surrey Hills CowParade leader, described the theft as ‘heartless’ and said it was really important the cow was found as it was due to go up for auction in the next couple of months.
“This has been such a well-support event and it’s a huge disappointment both for the charity and ourselves. Unfortunately Box Hill is quite remote, which must have made Cycling Moo Kay a relatively easy target.”
Paul Tuohy, Chief Executive of Cycling UK, said:
“I’m devastated to learn of the theft of Cycling Moo Kay. One of our members, Doug Clare, presented her to us earlier this summer to not only help with some valuable fund-raising for our charity, but also to share a bit of the fun that is cycling.
“Since then she’s played an iconic part in many of the South East’s cycling activities – from watching the thousands of RideLondon riders from her previous position on Box Hill, to even venturing up to Green Park to take part in the capital’s FreeCycle event.
“I sincerely hope that we are able to recover her, and would urge any members of the public who know anything about her disappearance to contact the Surrey police on 101.”
Doug Clare, chairman of G-Bug, the Guildford Cycling Campaign, said: “I’d like to appeal to whoever has stolen Cycling Moo Kay to return her to her rightful place. I can’t imagine she can be sold on or hidden easily, and the whole point of her existence is to raise funds for a very worthy cause.”