A £50,000 horsebox stolen from a charity on Tuesday night (16 July) was found not far away, less than two days later.
The British Horse Society (BHS) put out an appeal yesterday (18 July) after the distinctive vehicle was taken from the car park of a hotel in Essex. But within hours, it had been found in an industrial estate near Rayleigh, also in Essex.
BHS chief operating officer Sarah Phillips said: “We are very happy and relieved to have recovered our horse healthcare vehicle. We’re enormously grateful to everyone who helped ensure its safe return.
“The horsebox is fully insured, but it is specially customised to support the healthcare and education clinics that we run in order to proactively help vulnerable horses, and it would have taken months to replace. Yesterday we were unhappily looking at cancelling some upcoming events the vehicle was due to attend, knowing that horses around the country would be negatively affected as a result.
“Getting the call to tell us the vehicle was discovered, with all its specialist healthcare clinic equipment still safely on board, was fabulous news!”
The BHS was able to buy the vehicle in 2018 thanks to a £50,000 grant from the charity arm of SEIB, which makes major donations to good causes, nominated by its customers.
Smarty’s owner has thanked all those who shared her appeal
If you're feeling a little down after all of the excitement of Christmas, take a look at H&H's most popular
If you want to keep up with the latest from the equestrian world without leaving home, grab a H&H subscription
The lorry supports the welfare team’s healthcare and educations clinics, at which services such as castration, worming, foot care, dental checks, passporting and micro-chipping are offered to owners who “may not have regular access to healthcare for their horses”.
The welfare team had been due to use the vehicle to hold a horse health event the day after the theft, but had to cancel when they discovered it was missing.
For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.