‘Any more will break us’: vandals cause £11k damage by repeatedly targeting horse rescue group

  • A horse rescue organisation in Leicestershire may have to close or relocate after vandals struck again last weekend.

    Not-for-profit group Pony Rescue in Bagworth was planning to hold a family fun day with a car boot sale on 27 August.

    Craig Thompson, who set up Pony Rescue five years ago with his wife Vicky, left the site at 8.30pm on the Friday night (26 August).

    He arrived at 7.45am the next day to find someone had welded the gates to the field shut.

    More than 100 sellers had booked in, each paying £5 for a pitch, but as the only other access was a foot gate a quarter of a mile along a track “reluctantly we had to cancel everything apart from a tombola and bring and buy stall”.

    “Previous car boots have raised around £3,000, but this year we made £175. After paying out for loos and catering we made a loss of £500 on the day,” said Mr Thompson.

    The latest attack has “dramatically hit our fundraising” and comes after a wave of others this year.

    Vandals have damaged the Pony Rescue horsebox and fences have been cut, letting ponies out on the road.


    In May, the Thompsons found signs threatening to “slaughter all animals on site” at the entrance to the farm.

    “We’ve had £11,000 of damage in the last seven months,” said Mr Thompson.

    “It’s getting to the point where we are thinking are we doing the right thing by rescuing the ponies?”

    The charity can look after 30 ponies on its 22.5-acre site in Bagworth. Most of them are found abandoned on roads, or are rescued fly-grazing animals.

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    The charity also runs a care farm offering vulnerable people the chance to help with the rare breed sheep, pigs, goats, cows and ducks.

    “We’re going to continue but any more incidents will completely break us,” Mr Thompson told H&H.

    Leicestershire Police is asking anyone with information about the welded gates to call 101, quoting crime reference number 16000254395.

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