A couple that ran an equestrian supplies store are lucky to be still in business after a raid in which £32,500 worth of horse riding equipment was stolen.

Thieves targeted Your Four Legged Friend at Ripon in North Yorkshire, using oxyacetylene cutting equipment to cut through two gates and a door, to break in overnight and steal all the equestrian goods on the premises, including clothes and riding gear.

To make matters worse, when owners Lynn and Carl Taylor checked the day after the raid on 3 March, they found they were not insured because their policy had run out three weeks earlier and they had assumed it continued automatically.

Six other industrial premises and farm had been the victim of similar burglaries in the same week, said Mrs Taylor. Police are unable to say at this stage whether the offences are linked.

Mrs Taylor said: “It was devastating because they had left the shop in a terrible mess; where it had been raining and they had been walking in and out, everything was soaking and it took a week and half to get everything sorted out.”

Undeterred, the couple have stayed open, although they have been forced to rename the shop The Pet Shed Ripon Ltd, as they are only able to sell goods for small animals such as cats, dogs and rabbits. But they are reassuring customers that as soon as they can afford it they will start stocking equestrian equipment again.

A North Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “A full examination of the premises was undertaken and investigations are ongoing. No one has been arrested or charged at this time.”

Anyone with any information is asked to call police on 0845 6060247 quoting reference 12090036017.