THIEVES have stolen £5,000 of tack and equipment from a livery yard.
Horse owners from New Tilery Farm, off Worset Lane, in Hartlepool, were devastated to find the farm where they keep their horses had been raided by crooks.
Around eight saddles and seven bridles, most of good quality leather, were stolen from two sheds at the stables.
Zoe Kendall, who stables six horses at the farm along with members of her family, said everyone is shocked and upset at the crime.
The 22-year-old, who has a baby son, said: “It must have happened Saturday night because we found everything had gone on the Sunday.
“The door to where one lot of equipment is kept had been left wide open and there was stuff all over the floor, and one saddle had been dropped in the yard as though they’ve gone in a hurry.
“Then they’ve gone into our other tack room and stolen saddles from there as well – about eight saddles and seven bridles in total.
“Whoever it was has left other things like rugs and grooming kits untouched, so it’s obvious that they knew what they were doing because they’ve just gone for the most expensive stuff.”
Zoe, who keeps horses Apollo, Sully, Zena, Copper, Trixie, and Athena, at the farm along with her mum and sister, said she wanted to warn other horse owners to beware of such crimes, so that they do not lose out as well.
She added: “We’re gutted, it’s just horrible. We’ve been here for two years now and nothing has happened like this before.
“We want to make people on other farms and livery stables aware that this is happening, to make sure they lock up their stuff, and to keep an eye out if they are offered the tack for sale for cheap.
“I’m going to have to wait until after Christmas now before I can afford to replace my tack.
“I only work part-time and look after my son so I’m going to have to save up as much as I can. It’s disgusting, you can’t have anything.”
Zoe said there had been a white Transit van repeatedly driving past the farm last week, and it is not known whether its sighting is linked to the theft.
The information has been passed onto Cleveland Police whose officers are investigating.
A spokeswoman for Cleveland Police said: “A theft of tack and saddles from two sheds on New Tilery Farm was reported to us at 9.30am on Sunday. There were a number of victims, about eight in total.”
Anyone who has any information about the theft, or who sees or is offered the goods for sale, should telephone police on the non-emergency number 101.