A rider whose horse had its forelock chopped off while stabled at a show has thanked the equestrian community for its support.
Samantha Perkins was “devastated” to find her 13.2hh traditional cob, Brogan (pictured top), had been targeted at Equifest on Friday (15 August) at around 3pm.
She added that the attack was “totally out of the blue”.
“I was competing my other horse, Edlington Millie, and was thrilled as she’d done so well and finished sixth,” said Ms Perkins, who has owned nine-year-old Brogan for three years.
“But when I came back to the stable and saw Brogan had no forelock I was shocked and devastated.”
The whole of the cob’s forelock had been slashed away.
“We usually plait up his mane, but as we were giving him a bath later we decided to just put a hood on him,” she added.
“He hates his ears being touched so it would have been terrible for him. Perhaps it was someone with a grudge or just someone being spiteful.”
Ms Perkins felt that tighter security should have been in place.
“He was in a stable near the in-hand rings, which were heaving. The attacker must have just gone in in front of everyone. There was security staff around, but this should never have happened.
“This was my first big show and I’m definitely put off.”
But the equestrian community rallied round — and Supreme Products even stepped in with a false hairpiece for Brogan.
Sarah Turnbull from the company told H&H she wanted to help after hearing about the incident on Facebook.
“The forelocks we had weren’t suitable for a traditional, due to the length and volume needed, so we tried a false tail,” she said. “We plaited it in and it fell perfectly — you’d never know.”
Ms Perkins said she was “so grateful” for the support.
“I actually went into the ring to compete the next day without his fake hair, as I wanted to show I’m not scared of bullies. He finished fourth and I was so pleased.”
Equifest organiser Betsy Branyan said the show had stepped up security this year, after complaints last year, installing CCTV cameras all over the showground for the first time.
“Our major concern is the security of the site and the people on it. We had roving patrols 24 hours a day,” she added.
Horse & Hound magazine’s full report from Equifest will be on sale 28 August, 2014