Thieves Target Arabian Horse Trainers During National Championships In Tulsa

Wednesday, October 23rd 2013, 10:14 pm
By: News On 6

Horse breeders are in town for a big show, and some think they are being targeted by thieves.

Trainers at the National Arabian Horse Show say, since the start of the championship, there's been a string of car burglaries. Just Tuesday night, a trainer was robbed at gunpoint outside his hotel.

Less than 24 hours after having a gun shoved in his chest, Chase Harvill was more concerned with the canter of his horses than the cash stolen from his wallet.

"I didn't feel any fear at all, I was just really, really upset and angry," Harvill said.

The Texan had just arrived at his hotel when he noticed two men scoping out the parking lot. Against his better judgment, he pulled in and got out.

"As soon as they heard that horn go off on my truck, they turned around," Harvill said. "Pulled the gun out of his pocket and made sure I saw it, and all he said was, 'You know what's up.'"

The men took his cell phone and all the cash in his wallet, which was just $27. The men then asked for the keys to his truck, but Harvill drew their attention to the fact of its sheer size and that his initials are tattooed on the side.

"I guess, for whatever reason I rationalized with a criminal and it made sense to them not to take it," Harvill said.

But not everyone at this year's show has had the opportunity to talk someone out of stealing their truck.

"When we go to a major horse show, it's a matter of fact that there's gonna be some break-ins," said Mary Trowbridge, of the Arabian Horseman's Distress Fund.

Trowbridge said she's heard of four or five cases at the Expo Square, where a truck has been stolen or broken into. She said, with more than 7,000 horse breeders in a big city, it's something they've come to expect.

"I think we draw a little attention to ourselves, yeah," Trowbridge said. "I certainly don't want to minimize anybody's loss, but the good so outweighs the negative."

Trowbridge said the important thing is no one was hurt, and the selfish acts of a few won't break the bond of their community.

"We're there for each other in good and in bad, and the good outweighs the bad tenfold in this group," Trowbridge said.

Harvill said he's thankful he was able to talk the men out of stealing his truck, otherwise he's not sure how he would have pulled his trailer back to Texas.

The 2013 U.S. National Arabian Horse Show runs though Saturday at Tulsa's Expo Square.