Eventer feels ‘violated’ after theft of 16 saddles worth £18,000

  • An eventer said she feels “violated” after thieves broke into her yard and stole 16 saddles worth nearly £18,000.

    Charlotte Clewlow arrived at the yard she rents in Malpas, Cheshire at 8am on Wednesday (13 February) to discover the tackroom lock had been broken and all the saddles had been taken.

    Charlotte told H&H she owned three of the saddles and the other 13 belonged to clients.

    “It’s a nightmare; we’ve got 23 horses here and absolutely no saddles,” she said. “Many of the saddles were fitted to the horses individually, we spend a lot of money getting their backs done every two to three months. On some of the horses we can’t just put any saddle on.”

    Charlotte estimates the value of the saddles at £15,000 to £18,000.

    “It’s all good quality stuff and it doesn’t just affect me – owners work to buy nice things for their horses and someone has just taken them,” said Charlotte.

    “The main concern is we have to replace the saddles as quickly as we can. Next week I was planning to go to the gallops and go for lessons, all that sort of stuff – if it’s not sorted, I won’t event the horses in saddles that don’t fit them.”

    Charlotte plans to increase security on the yard.

    “We’ll be putting CCTV up and we are looking at alarm systems. The police think it was done by professionals – they knew exactly what they were looking for, and the likelihood is they had been on the yard previously to know where to go so they’ve scoped the yard out,” said Charlotte.

    “It makes me feel sick to think if someone has been here who I trust, or someone has been here without me knowing snooping round. It’s the worst feeling that people could have been near the horses.

    “Yesterday I was shocked and felt violated and today I just thought, what am I going to do? With horses you don’t earn much money and saddles cost a fortune. I haven’t got the money to be buying loads of new saddles as nice as the ones that have been taken – and neither do the owners, they’ve paid out for these beautiful saddles that fit their horses perfectly only to be told they’ve got to pay all over again.

    “We’re meant to be competing this weekend but whether we’ll get there I don’t know. People have been very kind and generous lending us saddles – it’s amazing, even people I don’t know have been dropping saddles off, people couldn’t be nicer.”

    Lyndsay Beresford, a livery and client of Charlotte, said she wants others in the area to be alert.

    “I’d rather people know, I heard it happened to a friend in the area recently and I didn’t take it on board fully, thinking we’d be ok. Before long this has happened and it might be a matter of time before it happens to someone else,” said Lyndsay.

    “My horse, Basil, had several back issues and fitting issues with saddles so I had to go for a particular saddle. I’m an amateur rider who works full time, mainly to pay for my horse, and unfortunately when I needed this saddle I had to take a loan out to pay for it. I only finished paying for it last year. I’m angry and upset – it’s scuppered a lot of plans for spring and summer as I will need to save up for a new saddle.”

    The saddles stolen:

    Amerigo Vega jump in brown serial 17N28190415
    Amerigo Vega jump in brown serial 17N10620318
    Black synthetic GP 17
    Black synthetic dressage
    Brown dressage 17.5
    Brown pony GP 15
    Equipe Synergy brown single flap jump 17.5
    Equipe Olympia dressage in brown 17 medium
    Equipe Olympia dressage in brown serial 18N44530714
    Equipe Expression jump serial 17N17010316
    Equipe Emporio dressage in black 18 medium
    Martin Guliver bespoke GP in black 18
    Pessoa in brown 17 medium
    Prestige Paris single flap brown 17 medium
    Prestige Paris single flap brown 17 medium
    Voltaire custom jump saddle serial 3774.18

    North West Wales Police are investigating. Anyone with information should contact 101, and quote reference X020281.

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