Western rider Angie ‘devastated’ as tack thieves steal ornate saddles and bridles from Harden stable

First published in Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , Aire/Worth Valley Reporter

Tack thieves have raided the Harden stable of western rider Angie Kirtley and made off with two ornate cowboy saddles valued at thousands of pounds.

The amateur rodeo rider went to tend to her horses Star and Cloud only to find both their saddles, bridles and breastplates had been stolen.

“I’m devastated and totally lost without the saddles,” said Mrs Kirtley, 62, of Oxenhope, who works as a team leader for BUPA Healthcare in Horsforth.

“The saddles are made by Premier and Circle Y in the USA and are very distinctive with high pommels.

“My four-year-old bay Star has only just got back to fitness after injury and we were so looking forward to the first western competition in Nottingham this spring.”

Mrs Kirtley, a lifelong horsewoman, is helped in her hobby by husband Ian. They attend western-style rodeos around the country where Angie competes in such disciplines as barrel-racing and flag racing. I’ve ridden for more than 50 years, but have been doing western-style for seven years.

“Star is a ten year-old Dales cob and he really enjoys taking part too. I can’t afford to just go out and buy new saddles, breastplates and bridles, so I’m having to talk to my insurers and see how things stand.

“But I’m really hoping anyone who gets offered this distinctive kit, or sees it for sale will get in touch with the police or the Telegraph & Argus.”

A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said stable door locks were broken at Harden Brow Farm and the thefts had occurred between Sunday and Monday afternoons.

“One of the saddles had distinctive Native American weaving on. Anyone with information should contact the non-emergency number 101” the spokesman said.

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