Thieves steal dogs as well as tack worth thousands

  • A showing producer is appealing for the return of four dachshunds who were stolen along with tack worth thousands of pounds.

    The dogs, most of whom were bred by in-hand specialist Alan Charlesworth, were taken from his farm near Droitwich, Worcestershire, overnight between last Tuesday and Wednesday (18-19 October).

    The “majority” of his tackroom was also emptied by the thieves, who wiped out his collection of in-hand tack gathered over 30-40 years.

    “It’s not been a good time at all,” said Alan, who moved to the yard six years ago.

    “There were six dogs in a building, inside a kennel — they left two behind, a whippet and a male daschund but they took the bitches. One we had bought but the others were all bred by us.

    “We’ve had some unbelievable support from people sharing their information but we still haven’t heard anything.”

    The dogs are  a three-year-old light-red bitch who was born with no tail; a chocolate dapple bitch aged four, a six-year-old black and tan bitch and a seven-year-old chocolate bitch, all of whom are microchipped.

    The tack includes Albion, Bates, Sabre and Black Country saddles, and more than 20 bridles with some distinctive bespoke red browbands.

    “I think the in-hand items will be the hardest to move on, as they aren’t seen for sale as often,” Alan said. “A lot of it is specialised to me and I’ve had it altered. There’s bridles to fit everything from 12hh yearlings up to hunters.”

    The thieves — who Alan believes must have watched the yard from the top of a neighbouring hill — used wheelbarrows to take the tack across fields, over a bridge and through a gap in the hedge to their waiting vehicle.

    “They seemed to know where there were sensor lights. They went in one building and came out of another to avoid them and had they pulled down the wire and tipped one light up in the air so it shone away,” he said.

    “We had cameras up and they turned some of them round but we have managed to take some still images from them.”

    While Alan’s yard has capacity for about 20 horses it is currently “lean time” at the end of season with only a few in, so he has been able to get by without tack temporarily.

    “You don’t realise how much tack you have until you want something,” he said. “We’ve just got the foal shows on now and luckily we have some headcollars and an old browband we stitched together as best we could. I have a lady who rides for me and she’s been having to bring in her own tack to do it!”

    Anyone with any information connected to the incident can contact police on 101, quoting incident number 0059s/181017. Alan can also be contacted on 07737 154862.

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