PEOPLE who sold horses and items of tack through a Cambridgeshire auction house claim they have been left out of pocket after the organisers failed to pay them money owed.

A number of people have contacted H&H saying John Dyer & Son Auctions, which operates from Lordsbridge Farm in Barton, failed to pay them money earned at sales in November and January. Another is awaiting payment for a £20,000 horsebox she sold through the auction house in September 2007.

Michael Hart of Cambridge sold tack worth £300 in November’s sale.

He told H&H: “I contacted them in December and they said the cheque must have been lost in the post, but despite many calls, I still have not been paid.”

Danielle Twitchen, from Lincolnshire, sold two ponies at the same sale and is owed £600.

Mrs Twitchen says Mr Dyer first told her the payment had got lost, then that staff member had been stealing from him and he would reissue the cheque.

“I have sold ponies through Dyers for 12 years and have never had problems before, but I have not been paid and they won’t answer my calls,” she said.

Wendy Beer of Wix, Essex, sold a horse to pay a livery debt in the January sale. She claims Dyers owes her 400gns.

And Claire Watts from Barrow-upon-Soar, in Leicestershire, sold £1,000-worth of tack in the January sale. She went round to the Dyers’ home last week and was given a cheque by Mrs Dyer.

Mary Janes, who sold a lorry through Mr Dyer in September 2007, is owed the most money. She has been paid half of the £20,000 she is owed, but has chased the rest for over a year.

“He has given me a variety of excuses,” said Mrs Janes, who moved to the Isle of Man from Lincolnshire. “I’ve known John for years and feel sorry for his predicament. I am going to hang on for the money.”

Mr Dyer’s wife, Amanda, told H&H the company had been the victim of a £15,000 credit card fraud in June last year. Cambridgeshire police have corroborated this.

Mrs Dyer said: “We have written to all 15 people to whom we owe money and will be paying everybody before next month’s sale.”

Malcolm Buckingham, who runs Lordsbridge Farm where the sales take place, says he has asked Mr Dyer to pay in advance if he wishes to hold the sale there on 20 March.

Cambridgeshire police confirmed they are following up a number of complaints about John Dyer & Son Auctions. Cambridgeshire Trading Standards declined to comment.

This news story was first published in H&H (26 February, ’09)