Riding school staff heartbroken after 33 saddles stolen

  • Staff at a riding school which holds Riding for the Disabled (RDA) sessions say it felt like a “cold hand around the heart” to find 33 saddles and other tack had been stolen.

    Brook Cottage Farm in Furneux Pelham was broken into some time between 6.30pm on Wednesday (9 January) and 8am on Thursday.

    Yard manager and RDA coach Caroline Yarrien told H&H: “Staff arrived on Thursday morning to find the gate open which is usually padlocked shut and found a saddle on the driveway. They could see the lights were on and the doors of the tack rooms and office were open.

    “The thieves made a mess. They broke into two tackrooms and our office and rummaged through everything. They went through locked filing cabinets, things were in a total disarray.”

    CCTV wires were cut and 33 saddles, two driving harnesses and cash was stolen but no horses were harmed.

    “The saddles belonged to liveries as well as the riding school – it’s devastating. We are a commercial riding school and run RDA sessions on a Thursday for children and adults. We’re becoming a driving centre but now the harnesses have been stolen,” said Caroline.

    “We believe it was pre-meditated because we think they must have taken a truck to take away that amount of tack.

    The horse community has been absolutely brilliant and we have had people coming with donations of saddles,” said Caroline.

    RDA coach Hester Tingey told H&H: “Everyone is so upset that it happened. Everything we do here is for children and adults that need help, they need to come here and enjoy it and for someone to come and take all of those things was just awful.

    “It felt like a cold hand was around our heart but incredibly overnight the local paper set up a Go Fund Me page and over £2,000 has already been raised. It’s an incredible response, the horse community is a very kind community and we feel a lot better.”

    A spokesman for Hertfordshire Constabulary said: “Police were called at 10.42am Thursday (10 January) to reports of a burglary at a riding school.

    “The victim believes the offender(s) attempted to steal diggers and dumper trucks, and some trucks had windows broken.”

    Anyone with information is asked to contact Hertfordshire Constabulary on 101 quoting crime reference 41/2883/19.

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