THOUSANDS of pounds of equestrian equipment has been stolen from a yard during an overnight break-in.

The incident happened between 10pm on Thursday and 6am on Friday when thieves gained entry to a stable block at Dodderhill Court, Crutch Lane, Elmbridge, near Droitwich, and made off with16 saddles and about 40 bridles worth about £2,000.

Other items stolen included a variety of ropes, stirrups and saddlecloths, and yard owner Arron Stevenson said the door to the building appeared to have been bent with a crowbar and the padlock remained intact.

Miss Stevenson says the equipment will be hard to replace for herself and other users of the facility.

"It's not just the fact they have stolen the tack; the other girls on the yard can't afford to replace their tack. One girl has just saved for the last six months to buy a saddle and now can't buy another one."

She added: "I have quite specific tack because I do rehab with horses, so it is more expensive and harder to find. I have just got the collection I needed and it took me six years to get the collection."

Miss Stevenson now intends to research a number of tack auctions which take place in a variety of locations around the country but feels proving any equipment is hers would be difficult.

"Anyone can enter stuff for auction and they don't always take information of who they are. They should have things like bank account details to verify."

West Mercia Police spokesman confirmed the thieves forced their way into the room and believes a vehicle of some form must have been used to transport the equipment.

He said: "If anyone has seen suspicious activity, particularly suspicious vehicles because a vehicle would have been needed to remove that amount of equipment, contact the police."

Anyone with information should call the police, quoting incident 85S24/01/14, on the non-emergency number 101.