Horse community’s ‘amazing’ response after thieves target charity

  • A charity targeted by thieves who stole tack worth thousands of pounds says it was “amazed” by the response of the local equestrian community.

    Team Tutsham, which works with under-privileged children, lost 30 saddles when shipping containers were broken into at the Kent yard last month.

    “It was devastating,” owner Maxine Buckby told H&H.

    “There were two containers; they broke into both of them, and just took saddles.

    “Bizarrely, my saddle’s a nice one, but it had a cover on and they didn’t touch it, or any of the others with covers.”

    Ms Buckby said the men, who were caught on CCTV, had come prepared with equipment, and spent some 45 minutes breaking in.

    She estimates the cost of replacing the tack would have been about £15,000, but said it would have been difficult to replace some of the older saddles.

    “Luckily, the local horse community has been absolutely amazing,” she said.

    “Our patron’s [dressage rider] Dan Watson; he put a message out there too and we’ve had a lot of people donating stuff to us.”

    Ms Buckby said the theft was a blow to the charity, as it has taken eight years’ work to build it to its current level.

    “But the response was amazing; I can’t thank everyone enough,” she added. “I can’t tell you how brilliant the local horse community has been.”

    Ms Buckby said only three ponies – “13hh, chunky types with wide shoulders” – are now in need of saddles, thanks to the public’s generosity.

    “Team Tutsham is a charity that works tirelessly to give under-privileged children a leg up in life,” Dan said. “They give them stability and support to grow and gain confidence through equine related activities.”

    Kent Police urged horse owners to mark tack and store it out of sight.

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