A rider is “in tatters” after thieves stole not only all her tack, equipment and rugs — but also three stables and a tack room.
Sandra Cartledge turned up at the field she owns near Polebrook, Northamptonshire, yesterday morning (26 August) to find “devastation”.
The 63-year-old told H&H she and her husband had taken extreme security measures since construction equipment was stolen from the field in June.
“We put in a retractable bollard, there were locks all the way down, welded over the gate hinges as last time they lifted them off — but they got in through next door’s land,” she said.
“My horse Haydn had his Premier Equine waterproof rug on that night, and I had my Eqclusive brushes in the car because I’d groomed him in the shelter but otherwise, they’ve taken everything.”
Rugs, boots, mucking-out equipment, a hat, jacket and body protector have all gone, as well as Haydn’s Kent and Masters saddle.
“I’d had a funny feeling that night,” Sandra said. “It was so windy and I told my husband I was worried about the stables. Then when I got there in the morning, I couldn’t believe it; I thought ‘where are the stables?’.
“I went racing over, thinking they’d blown down. I could see tyre tracks, and where a fence post had been lifted out, but everything had gone.”
Sandra estimates the theft has cost her £10,000, and she is not insured, as she had not considered insuring buildings against theft.
“They were on skids, with proper 44mm rubber matting,” she said. “I look after my stuff and it was all really well organised but they’ve even taken my shampoo and Kevin Bacon hoof stuff, as well as the lunge whip I’d had since I was 17 and had sentimental value.”
Sandra said she does not know how she will replace the lost items. People have been “very sweet”, including Finer Equine offering her an ex-demo saddle cover to replace one of those stolen, but she said she was lucky to find the right saddle, second-hand, for high-withered Haydn.
“I spent a lot of money and put a lot of effort in, and it’s all gone,” she said. “I’m in tatters.”
Anyone who could help with any of the lost items, or could help with replacing the buildings, can email Sandra on firstname.lastname@example.org
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A spokesman for Northamptonshire Police told H&H: “This incident happened some time between 12pm on 25 August and 11.20am on 26 August, when the offender/s forcibly removed the concrete posts to a welded gate in the field. They then removed a number of items, some very large, including:
* Outdoor double stables with attached tack room (12ft x 24ft)
* Kent and Masters high-withered GP saddle in black with serial number 23602, along with a black Premier Equine saddle pad, black stirrup leathers and a blue Finer Equine cover.
* Rhinegold black cavesson bridle with gold piping detail. This had a bronze alloy loose-ring lozenge snaffle bit and a black martingale.
* body protector
* rubber matting
* three electric fence energisers, fence posts, tape
* first aid kit
“We are investigating this incident and would encourage anyone with information or anyone who may have been offered the above items in suspicious circumstances to contact us [by calling 101] quoting reference number 20000445530.”
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