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The British Horse Society Welfare Vehicle - UPDATE

18 July 2019


UPDATE: Equine charity’s stolen horse healthcare vehicle recovered - 19 July 2019

The British Horse Society (BHS) is delighted to announce that the horse healthcare vehicle stolen from an Essex hotel car park during the night of 16/17 July was discovered yesterday (18 July) abandoned on an industrial estate near Rayleigh, not far from where it was stolen.

Chief Operating Officer for the BHS, Sarah Phillips, said, ‘We are very happy and relieved to have recovered our horse healthcare vehicle. We’re enormously grateful to everyone who helped ensure its safe return. The horsebox is fully insured, but it is specially customised to support the healthcare and education clinics that we run in order to proactively help vulnerable horses, and it would have taken months to replace. Yesterday we were unhappily looking at cancelling some upcoming events the vehicle was due to attend, knowing that horses around the country would be negatively affected as a result. Getting the call to tell us the vehicle was discovered with all its specialist healthcare clinic equipment still safely on board, was fabulous news!’



The British Horse Society (BHS) is shocked to announce the theft of their horse healthcare vehicle - 18 July 2019

The British Horse Society (BHS) is shocked to announce the theft of their horse healthcare vehicle.

CCTV footage shows the customised horsebox being stolen from the Premier Inn car park in Rainham, Essex, at 11.45pm on 16 July, where the BHS Welfare team were staying overnight. The Welfare team were due to use the vehicle to hold a Horse Health Day the following day, but upon discovering the theft early that morning, they were obliged to cancel the event.

The BHS acquired the vehicle in Autumn 2018, following receipt of a generous £50,000 grant from South Essex Insurance Brokers (SEIB), as a result of a vote by SEIB customers. The vehicle was further customised using charity funds to support the Welfare team’s Healthcare and Educations clinics, where services such as castration, worming, foot care, dental checks, passporting and micro-chipping, in addition to a wealth of information and advice, are made available to owners who may not have regular access to healthcare for their horses.

The healthcare vehicle provided equipment such as gas rings to heat water for castration, a mini-awing to provide shelter, and storage for the vast amount of equipment required to run the Healthcare and Education clinics. It also ensured that horses could be transported safely to and from the clinics, or transferred to veterinary hospitals if required.

Sarah Phillips, Chief Operating Officer at The British Horse Society said: “We are enormously saddened by this theft, which will unfortunately negatively impact The BHS’ vital welfare work. The BHS aim is to improve equine welfare through education, and our healthcare vehicle played an important role in helping to break the cycle of neglect and prevent horses from needing rescue. The vehicle’s clear branding makes it very obvious that it belongs to a charity, and I would appeal for help from everyone to keep their eyes open for it, and report any sightings to the police.”

The stolen vehicle is a red Peugeot Boxer van, registration NX68 BFM. Any sightings should be reported to the Metropolitan Police citing Crime Ref: 5411880/19

These are the upcoming events which the BHS had planned which will now need to be either cancelled or adversely affected:

  • 17th July- Horse Health Day 
  • 25th July – Horse Health Day 
  • 28th July – RIHS at Hickstead is still going ahead, but without the welfare lorry/team present
  • 4th August – BHS Fun Ride, Wimpole = Will still go ahead, but without lorry/welfare team present
  • 10th August – Horse Health Day 
  • 21st and 22nd August – Horse Health Days
  • 28th August – FATE (Friends At The End) training, will still go ahead but without the welfare lorry
  • 29th August – Horse Health Day
  • 8th September – Burghley sponsored ride- still going ahead without welfare lorry/team present
  • 23rd November – Horse Health Day
  • 27th November – Demonstration/Presentation to College students
  • 15th December – Horse Health Day

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