Police have reiterated warnings to people attending equestrian events to secure their vehicles against theft.

It comes after a woman was charged with a number of offences, including the theft of a handbag that she admitted stealing from an unsecured vehicle at a show in Epworth, Humberside. The victim was convinced she had lost her bag at work.

PC Challinor of Lincolnshire Police said: “I am sure people would not park their vehicles in a city centre with their handbag on display and with the vehicle left insecure — so why do it at a horse event?”

He added: “It is apparent that there are offenders who target such horse events and that these events often offer easy pickings to offenders.

“I would suggest taking the bare minimum to such events. Cash is small and can be carried around, but chunky purses full of cards are more problematic — especially if riding during the event.

“Why not leave such items at home — and ensure vehicles are secured?”

Earlier this year, riders were urged to be on their guard following several thefts from unlocked lorries at Milton Keynes and Larkhill horse trials.

Horsewatch Alliance UK said riders must use their common sense.

“You assume you’re with like-minded people, but that’s when you’re vulnerable and thieves take advantage. Don’t drop you guard,” said a spokesman.

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound magazine (5 September 2013).