Horse tack theft is not a new crime, tack thieves get away with an average haul worth £30,000, according to crime figures.
A survey by insurers NFU Mutual, based on claims at more than 300 of the company’s rural branches, suggests that tack is ninth on the top-10 list of items stolen in the countryside. Number one is quad bikes.
And 70% of agents say rural crime is on the up.
The survey was based on claims from January-June this year and agents were asked to compare claims against the same period in 2009.
“Since our last survey in 2007, horse thefts have decreased — due to a combination of microchipping, visible security markings and better traceability of horses as a result of passports. Nine were recorded last year and none so far this year,” said Nicola Whittaker from NFU Mutual.
“But tack thefts are on the rise and different people are being targeted. A couple of years ago we found most tack theft was opportunist — a bridle here, a saddle there. Now thieves are aiming for livery yards and businesses and the average theft has risen to around £30,000.
“Thieves plan very meticulously, and theft on a grand scale can ruin careers and businesses.”
Tack and rugs cleaned out
Sussex was found to be one of the worst affected counties, with over a dozen tack-theft claims in May alone. East Anglia and Wales are also recorded to have been badly hit.
West Sussex-based dressage rider Amy Stovold had her tackroom raided while she was competing in Saumur.
“We had really tight security — but they got past all the cameras and alarms. If thieves want to get in, they will,” Amy said.
All Amy’s saddles were bespoke and their loss could have made a big impact on her career.
“I had to go a week with no saddles at all and then it took a few weeks to break in the new ones — it was a complete nightmare,” she added.
The loss of horse tack can be very costly to replace, so having somewhere safe and secure to store these items is essential. Investing in a secure storage unit is always a good step to ensure your horse tack items are safe.