We’ve all seen the fiberglass life-size horses that model blankets and saddles inside and outside tack stores. For Diamond H Tack Inc., a popular Kelowna, BC, tack shop, theirs was more than a model, it was a mascot named Harry. And on June 20, Harry was stolen in a brazen daylight robbery. The theft took place at 4:50 pm when two thieves drove up in a U-Haul and spirited Harry away. The owners, Heather Moffat and Heather Robson, took to Facebook to get the word out.
According to the owners, Harry was made in the 1970s and painted with Appaloosa markings. He was a fixture at Diamond H Tack and stood guard at the front door, greeting shoppers. The theft sparked a community outcry, and it must have been enough for the thieves to realize their ill-gotten gains couldn’t be fenced. No one knows what the black-market value is on a life-size fiberglass horse, but within a few days, Harry was found rudely dumped in a field.
“We drove over there and pulled him out of the ditch and loaded them into my truck and they gave me a police escort back to the store,” Moffat told CTV News. “We unloaded him and he’s back doing his job as our open and closed sign and community landmark.”
According to Moffat, “He has a few extra scratches to add to his story. But he’s vintage and we have never repainted him or done any work on him. All his stories are right there on him.”
Harry’s thieves have not been found, and while we don’t know the punishment for being a fiberglass horse thief, chances are it’s more lenient than stealing the real deal. As far back as Medieval times, and more recently the Old West, being found guilty of horse stealing was punishable by torture and execution. Today it’s still considered a major crime with up to 40,000 horses stolen each year worldwide.
But for Moffat and Robson and their fans and clientele at Diamond H Tack, there is relief and gratitude. “We would like to extend a huge thank you to our community for all the help in locating and finding Harry,” says Moffat. “Your support does not go unnoticed. We are so excited to have him back!”
And yes, Harry is now chained to the ground to deter future thieves.