NEW CASTLE, Ind. – Nearly $200,000 worth of equipment was stolen from more than a dozen people competing at a charity show horse competition at the Henry County Fairgrounds.
Show organizers believe the thefts happened sometime during the early morning hours Monday, after competitors had gone home.
“It definitely seems like it was somebody who knew what they were going after because of the items that were taken,” Henry County Saddle Club president Rebecca Baker said.
Baker says the “open air stalls” the competitors use to house their horses and equipment were all locked, which means the thieves had to climb up and over the gate’s narrow opening to get in and out. The items stolen include saddles, head stalls, show pads, and accessories, many of which are custom made and very expensive.
“With all the stuff that was taken, a large amount of show saddles, and head stalls, and show stalls, it’s probably over $200,000…$150,000 to $200,000 worth of stuff,” Baker said.
Investigators with the Henry County Sheriff’s Office say they believe that the thefts were not the result of a random crime, and that the horse show and the items stolen were targeted. As of Monday afternoon, investigators are not reporting any known suspect or suspects.
Rebecca Baker says the saddle club has hired round-the-clock security and will be installing more security cameras to make sure more thefts don’t occur. In the meantime, Baker says the saddle club has alerted all horse equipment auction sites of the thefts, adding that much of the equipment stolen is custom made and may be easy to track if sold. However, Baker says her biggest concern is the equipment being taken across state lines to be sold.
If you have any information about the thefts, you're asked to contact the Henry County Sheriff's Office.