Mothers’ anger at theft of riding equipment from Norfolk stables

A riding school owner, who has had a heart and lung transplant and new kidney, was hit with more bad luck last week when thieves ransacked her Norfolk stables.

Riding equipment, including nine saddles, seven girths and eight bridles, was taken during the raid at Kings Acre Stables in Carleton Rode during the early hours of Thursday morning, forcing owner Sarah Elsbury to close on Thursday while she sought donations to enable her to continue her riding lessons, which includes teaching young children.

The break-in at the stables' tack room, which was believed to have happened at 1.30am, was the latest setback for the 29-year-old cystic fibrosis sufferer, who has had a heart and lung transplant and a kidney donated to her by her boyfriend Gavin Morton after she suffered kidney failure.

Her mother Sue, 58, who lives with her daughter at the stables, discovered the theft on Thursday morning when she visited the tack room to find a door had been left and open and racks had been emptied.

She said she was awoken during the night by a banging sound from the stables, which she thought was caused by a horse and said she spoke to one of her neighbours who told her she had heard a vehicle driving away at 1.30am.


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Mrs Elsbury, who also lives with her husband Ken, 62, discovered a parcel shelf belonging to a VW vehicle in a neighbouring field, as well as some discarded riding equipment, which led her to believe the thieves used a getaway vehicle which they had parked in Fen Road before using a public footpath to get to the stables and scrambling down a ditch to reach the tack room.

However, she believed the thieves would have known the area as the stables is in a secluded part of the Norfolk countryside, which rarely attracts visitors.

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She also thought the raiders had some knowledge of horses as they had closed doors behind them.

'I was angry more than anything and I just could not believe anyone would do this especially after what my daughter has been through. What is so devastating is that she has already been through so much in recent years,' Mrs Elsbury said.

Her daughter had just received her renewed licence to continue running the stables she has owned for 10 years when the raid happened.

Fortunately, she has been able to keep going through the generosity of nearby riding schools who have given her riding equipment after learning about the break-in through appeals Sarah made through social networking site Facebook.

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