Saddles stolen from Riding for the Disabled group

  • Thieves have stolen tack worth more than £1000 from Riding for the Disabled (RDA) stables in Dorset.

    The stables of the Southfield RDA group in Ferndown were targeted on Tuesday night (31 January).

    Three saddles, worth £400 each were taken.

    Police say the theft of the saddles -which had been specially-adapted – will have a “detrimental impact” on the charity’s programme.

    Sue Downer, chairman of RDA group, said the theft “beggars belief”.

    “It is gutting really,” she told H&H.

    “I went to feed the horses on Wednesday morning (1 February) and found the door wide open.

    “We have two bolts secured with padlocks – but they had ripped the bolts off the door.”

    Two of the saddles had been adapted slightly for different disabilities. The third was a special ‘therapy saddle’, which is made entirely of sheepskin.

    “A few rude words crossed my mind,” said Ms Downer.

    “I am so angry and disappointed. We had a class of children today from a special needs school – all profoundly disabled – and we couldn’t use the therapy saddle.

    “We managed to cope with a sheepskin but it wasn’t very secure and the children found it difficult.”

    Ms Downer said that although the saddles were insured, she was concerned that the break-in would put their premium up.

    “We are already struggling to keep on top of our insurance premiums – so that would make things very difficult,” she said.

    Witnesses and anyone with information should call Dorset Police in confidence on 101 quoting incident number 1:45

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