Event rider calls for higher security at horse trials

  • An event rider is calling for more security at British Eventing (BE) fixtures after she had her a purse stolen from her locked lorry at Oasby Horse Trials on Friday (13 March).

    Felicity Baker-Attew, 24, was competing in the intermediate class with The Wedding Horse.

    She set off for her showjumping at 11.10am having locked her purse in her lorry.

    When she returned half an hour later she found someone had broken through the jockey door into her lorry and stolen the contents of her purse.

    The thief took her card, the cash needed for the petrol on the way home, her cheque and paying in books, her diary as well as Felicity’s driving licence and BE membership card.

    She reported the stolen card to the police immediately. But on the way home at 2.30pm Felicity noticed on her Barclays app that £5,000 had been withdrawn from her account.

    The thief had failed to get the money from the local Grantham branch but then moved on to another at Sleaford.

    “My whole account had been emptied. It is a massive knock,” said Felicity. She is warning riders to be extra vigilant about locking up valuables at events this season.

    “BE needs to have more security at events so that the public cannot just walk into the horse box area,” added Felicity.

    But BE chief executive, Mike Etherington Smith said: “It is impractical to expect organisers of events to provide security that will cover every single square metre of an event site such as this.”

    Anna Buntine who co-runs Bede Events, the organisers of the Oasby Horse Trials, said she thought this was not a random theft but the work of a professional.

    “We are trying to resolve the situation and are working closely with the police,” Anna told H&H.

    The thief stole a handbag from a member of Bede Event’s staff at Oasby last year and as with Felicity, managed to raid her bank account.

    “We will endeavour to do what we can to prevent this from happening again. It is a nightmare scenario,” added Anna.

    A BE spokesperson said: “We are extremely disappointed to hear that Mrs Baker-Attew was the victim of theft at a recent BE event. Monitoring security at events is an issue but one that is ultimately the concern of the person responsible for the vehicle at the event in question to ensure vehicles are locked and valuable items are not visible.

    “While this must have been deeply distressing for Mrs Baker-Attew, we appreciate her sharing her experience and we will take this opportunity to again remind all members to take extra caution and be vigilant at events and if they do see any suspicious activity to report it immediately to the organiser.”

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