Piggy French and Oliver Townend targeted by tack thieves

  • Event riders Piggy French and Oliver Townend have become the latest victims of tack theft. The pair, who share a yard in Market Harborough in Leicestershire, had £56,000-worth of tack stolen over night between Monday and Tuesday (11-12 June).

    “We’ve got absolutely nothing left and have nineteen horses out competing this weekend,” Piggy French told H&H. “But we’re borrowing tack — you just have to kick on, don’t you.”

    Oliver Townend discovered the theft on Tuesday morning, when he tried to go riding at 5.30am. The pair had been out to dinner the night before, and got back to the yard around 10.30pm, when everything appeared as normal.

    Piggy continued: “They did a proper job — took the sensor lights out, and were very neat about everything. The tack room is well hidden in a barn — they forced the locks.

    “A lot of us live on site and we’re all amazed we didn’t hear anything.”

    Among the tack stolen were 22 saddles, over half of which were top-brand names: six Devoucoux, four Passiers, Prestiges, Jaguars, Albions.

    “You name it, they took it,” said Piggy. “Bridles, bits, all the leather stuff — everything. We’re having to borrow tack to get the horses exercised.”

    One of Piggy’s saddles was postcoded and a number bear nameplates.

    Another two yards in what Leicestershire Police describe as the “A4304 corridor” were targeted in the same night. Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward with any information — particularly about suspicious vehicles that may have been seen in the area on Monday night. Please call Crimestoppers in confidence (tel: 0800 555 111).

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