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Ex-racers ride out for dog theft awareness

Photos by Graham, Hairy Horse Photography
DTA Co-ordinator Margaret Nawrockyi starts off the fund-raising ride for memebrs of the
Yorkshire branch of the Ex Racers club

HORSE RIDERS from the Yorkshire branch of the Ex Racers Club braved the weather to participate in a fun ride to support the dog theft awareness group Dog Theft Action last Sunday at Escrick Park, North Yorkshire. The event was organised by DTA Associate Laura Lucas whose beloved dogs Lilly and Puzzle were stolen in July 2004. Laura, a former national show jumper, dedicated the event to the memory of her dogs.

Laura now shows horses professionally and is also a riding instructress in Yorkshire and surrounding counties. She is the area representative of the Yorkshire branch of the Ex Racers Club - an online support group and a non-profit making organisation that offers support to the owners of ex-racehorses and anyone that has an interest in them. Their aims are to promote the ex-racehorse and help both horse and owner in their new careers. The club has both national and international members and also welcomes trainers, owners and breeders.

The object of this event was to promote awareness of dog theft in the horse world. Laura continues ‘Many horse owners are also dog lovers. They bring their dogs to the yard and to shows and events but I worry that sometimes horse owners can be complacent about their dogs. Often they are left in horseboxes and other vehicles in lorry parks which can be miles from the action taking place. International eventer, Pippa Funnell had her border terrier stolen at a show about three years ago; it can - and does - happen to anyone.’

DTA Co-ordinator Margaret Nawrockyi who was invited to start the ride which was well supported by club members said, ‘DTA was delighted to participate in this event and would like to extend our thanks to Laura Lucas and the members of the Ex Racers Club for their hospitality and support.
‘This is another aspect of the campaign to prevent dog thefts from taking place. Dogs accompany their families to events throughout the year and the horse calendar is currently bursting with events for participators and spectators alike. The problem is that they often leave their dogs unattended in isolated car parks where they are sitting targets for dog thieves. We hope that events like the Lilly and Puzzle Fun Ride will encourage dog owners and event organisers associated with the horse world to take all possible precautions to stop thefts of dogs at shows and meetings.’