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The combined force of two H&H forum users has led to the recovery of a stash of stolen tack — although unfortunately not their own.

Alison Harris, chairman of Worcester & District Riding Club, posted a list of £20,000-worth of stolen items on the forum on 24 January.

The following day, she received a call from a fellow forum user who was at Derby Horse & Tack Sales searching for her own £5,000 of stolen items — because she believed Ms Harris’s tack was going under the hammer.

“There was a man hanging around who seemed out of place — looking nervous and dressed in a hooded tracksuit and plimsolls while everyone else was in boots and outdoor country clothes,” said the caller, from Northampton, who wishes to remain anonymous as her tack — including a rare £4,000 Pariani saddle — is still unrecovered.

“Some saddles like those on Alison’s list were being sold for 20% of their value — you just wouldn’t do that if you knew how much they were worth.”

Derbyshire police arrived at the scene, arrested 2 men from the West Midlands area and recovered a number of stolen items.

“Another victim of a tack theft in Cheshire then turned up at the auction and identified the property as hers,” said Inspector Erika Green. “We informed Cheshire Police, who are dealing with the investigation.”

“Unfortunately none of it was ours, but 2 thieves have been apprehended and one lucky lady has her tack back,” said Droitwich-based Ms Harris. “I can’t recommend using the Horse & Hound forum highly enough. My aim was to make the tack unsellable through publicity and although we haven’t got ours back the forum post has led to [thieves being] arrested and one person having their tack returned.”

This article was first published in Horse & Hound magazine (13 February 2014)