‘A scene of devastation’: horse left in critical condition after thieves steal stable

  • An ex-racehorse was left fighting for his life after thieves stole his stable and left a large quantity of feed within his reach.

    Crooks dismantled and stole a block of three stables, plus a neighbouring field shelter, from a farmer’s field in Lincolnshire overnight on 22 to 23 November.

    They corralled the horses and tipped out three full bags of feed into their field, which included a sack of feed that is designed to be soaked prior to feeding.

    The roof of the stables

    Owner Sally Bentley’s daughter, Tasha, discovered the scene of destruction when she went to care for the horses on Friday (23 November) morning.

    “She thought maybe there had been a plane crash as there was so much debris and rubbish everywhere,” Mrs Bentley told H&H.

    “They have taken all the timber and the metal skids [the stables were sitting on] and left nails everywhere — it was a scene of devastation.”

    When the pair saw the feed had been tipped within reach of their three ex-racehorses, Mrs Bentley immediately called her vet, Harriet Thorpe from Hormann Equine.

    Mrs Bentley’s five-year-old thoroughbred, Magical Lasso (“Michael”) was showing signs of distress and the vet put him on a drip.

    Michael at Oakham Veterinary Hospital

    Later that afternoon, his condition worsened and the horse was admitted to Oakham Veterinary Hospital as they were concerned he was at risk from potential colic, laminitis and sepsis.

    He has thankfully pulled through,” she said. “He was in a critical condition on Friday and Saturday, then in the early hours of Saturday morning he turned a corner.”

    The horse is now recovering at home and Mrs Bentley said she is “eternally grateful” to Harriet and the team at Oakham.

    Michael in happier times

    “He is the sweetest, kindest horse,” she said.

    “Last Saturday he finished in the top three in the Retraining of Racehorses Heart awards; this Saturday he was fighting for his life.”

    The other two horses, 22-year-old retired former racehorse Yann’s and eight-year-old ex-hurdler Solway Storm, were unharmed.

    Mrs Bentley said she wants others to be aware of what happened so they can protect their property and for the thieves to understand of the consequences of their actions on innocent animals.

    The stables before they were stolen

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    “We worked so hard for this, we are just ordinary people,” she said, adding the support they have received in the wake of the theft has been fantastic.

    “I don’t think they ever intended to harm the horses, I think they wanted to distract them.

    “I wouldn’t want anyone else to go through what we have — I just want everyone to be aware; [stables] are the last thing I would think would be stolen.”

    Police have been informed and are making enquiries.

    A spokesman for Lincolnshire Police said: “At 8.04am on 23 November we received a report of a theft of a shelter and three stables from a field in North Scarle. It is believed these were taken overnight.

    Anyone with any information should call 101 – [quoting] reference number 71 of 23 November 2018.”

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