A riding club has issued an urgent appeal for information after a tractor and trailer holding showjumps was stolen from a field.
Hertfordshire-based Dacorum & District Riding Club was notified that the tractor and trailer holding around 40 showjumps had been stolen from Woodend Farm, Hemel Hempstead, between 1am and 5am yesterday (11 September).
The farm’s CCTV showed the vehicle, registration W745 PUD, being driven away.
Claire Palmer, an organiser for the club, told H&H: “Whoever has done this has used the tractor to smash their way out of the farm gates.
“The jumps were being stored for winter. We run our shows from April and usually run three showjumping rings. To replace all the jumps is going to have a massive cost impact to us. We’re a little local riding club, as with most local clubs we’re not rolling in money. We have a small reserve in the bank for club improvements or to cover us if we have a bad season but for us to replace 40 showjumps is going to cost an awful lot.”
Five showjumps were found at Bulstrode Lane, Bovingdon, which Claire believes may have fallen off the trailer, but the remaining jumps, and the tractor and trailer, have not been recovered.
“The money is going to have to come from somewhere because we can’t run without the jumps. It has made me angry, but I feel for the competitors, they’re the ones that lose out,” said Claire. “We don’t run the club for our benefit, we run it for the local horse community who turn up month in, month out to support their local club. It’s really unfair on everybody.
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“What has been nice is the post we put on Facebook this morning has now had 500 shares which shows the power of social media. People have suggested on Facebook that we set up a crowdfunding page to raise funds for the replacing the jumps and said they would donate, which is really lovely because it’s not their fault the jumps were stolen. I just hope the jumps turn up somewhere or that someone sees them.”
The club has asked anyone with information to contact Hertfordshire Police on 101 and quote reference 41/35973/18.
Update 28 September
The riding club has now set up a crowdfunding page in order to raise funds.
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