Showing star and H&H columnist Katie Jerram came face-to-face with three masked thieves on her way to Kent County Show last week (Saturday 18 July).
She was driving to her yard in High Easter, Essex, at 3.45am to prepare her horses for the show.
When she drove past the nearby farm where her sister-in-law lives she noticed a quad bike was not in its usual place.
As she drove further she noticed there was also an unfamiliar vehicle parked at the entrance to the farm.
“There was a Subaru truck outside and I thought that was strange. I hadn’t seen that car there before,” Katie told H&H.
“I got out to take down the registration number when three men wearing balaclavas ran through the hedge and drove off in the truck.”
The quad bike had been taken.
She later discovered that a chainsaw was also missing from the farm.
“The quad bike was stolen from underneath our noses,” Katie added.
Katie called the police who arrived at the property the following morning (Sunday 18 July).
They found the quad bike via its tracker and it has since been returned, along with the chainsaw.
“It’s all quite frightening,” added Katie. “We’ve claimed all the stuff back but it’s not good.
“Hopefully [reclaiming the equipment] will be a deterrent so they don’t come again.”
There has been a recent spate in rural thefts reported on horseandhound.co.uk in recent weeks.
Earlier this month (5 – 6 July) thousands of pounds worth of tack was stolen from a stud in Wiltshire.
Saddles, bridles, bits, girths and breastplates were taken from Landford Common Stud, near Salisbury.
Less than a week earlier an estimated £15,000 worth of stock was stolen when Performance Equestrian’s base in Raunds, Northants, was broken into overnight (30 June – 1 July).