Photo/Illutration The Facebook page of Urakawa Yushun Village AERU shows pictures of Winning Ticket with his mane chopped off.

URAKAWA, Hokkaido--The mane of another retired champion racehorse was chopped off in Hokkaido, and its hair was found being peddled online, police said.

A regular customer of Urakawa Yushun Village AERU, a sightseeing and lodging facility popular among horse lovers here, informed staff around noon on Sept. 15 that the mane of Winning Ticket had been put up for sale on flea market app Mercari.

AERU staff checked up on Winning Ticket on the morning of Sept. 16 and found that a chunk of the thoroughbred’s mane on the right side was cut off. The missing piece was 20 centimeters long and 10 cm wide.

Winning Ticket won the 1993 Japanese Derby and has been spending his post-retirement days at the facility.

Mercari Inc. prohibits sales of items obtained through illegal means, such as stolen goods, on its app.

“Following the guidelines, we have deleted posts that sold the mane,” a company official said.

It was unclear if the hair was sold.

AERU staff reported the case to Hokkaido police, who were already investigating similar cases of mane mutilation.

At a ranch in Hidaka, a town near Urakawa, the manes of two other thoroughbreds were found chopped off and stolen on the morning of Sept. 15.

Taiki Shuttle, a decorated racehorse with multiple victories in top-tier Grade One races in Japan and abroad, including the 1998 Yasuda Kinen, was one of the victims. The other was Rose Kingdom, winner of the 2010 Japan Cup and other races.

Both horses are retired and managed by Versailles Farm in Hidaka.

Police are investigating these cases as acts of destruction of property.

The three horses were not injured in the incidents.

At AERU, visitors can enjoy horseback riding and other activities against a backdrop of the Hidaka mountains. They can also see the retired racehorses up close and feed them carrots.

AERU suspended the tour program for visitors on Sept. 18. Staff are discussing how to deal with the incident.

The Versailles Farm facility also suspended public viewing of its retired racehorses after the manes were found cut.