Girl's horse riding dreams shattered after vandals target equipment

alisha smith

Alisha Smith, 15, had her horse lorry damaged back in December and it means she has struggled to train and travel for national competitions. - Credit: Mark Smith

A young girl's horse riding dreams have been shattered after vandals decided to damage her horse lorry, causing £8,000 worth of damage.

Alisha Smith, 15, from Kessingland, is a promising young horse rider.

But her dreams were shattered when, in December 2020, her horse lorry was trashed by a group of vandals at Elizabeth Terrace in Pakefield, meaning she eventually could not travel to compete in national competitions.

Police enquiries continued for months on end but the investigation was eventually closed due to lack of evidence, despite suspects being identified.

Mark Smith, Alisha's dad said: "Around Christmas time we went up to the horse field in Pakefield and saw three bikes by the gate at the entrance to the horse field.

smashed window

A smashed window on Alisha's horse lorry. - Credit: Mark Smith

"We got to the horse lorry and there were two girls and two boys sitting in the lorry.

"They had completely trashed it, stuff was ripped off the wall, electric and heating elements were taken out, the windscreen was smashed and they also tried to hotwire the lorry."

horse riding

Alisha usually competes in major national horse riding competitions. - Credit: Mark Smith

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For dad Mark Smith, 51, he said it has had a negative impact on Alisha's mental health.

He said: "This has been horrible for her and her mental health.

"Alisha usually practices for national competitions but because of the damage she could no longer travel to competitions after Covid restrictions were lifted.

"It has cost £8,000 worth of damage and we decided not to insure the lorry because of Covid restrictions.

"She is a promising horse rider and this has impacted upon her development.

"I am just angry there is no justice."

horse lorry trashed

Suffolk Police say that due to 'insufficient evidence' the investigation was closed. - Credit: Mark Smith

A spokesman for Suffolk Police said due to 'insufficient evidence,' no further action was taken.

He said: “Police received a report of criminal damage on 16 December 2020 at Gisleham.

“Officers conducted an investigation and proportionate enquiries in to the incident were conducted.

"However, despite suspects being identified, due to insufficient evidence no further action will be taken.

“Despite pursuing all reasonable lines of enquiry these were all exhausted and the crime has been closed.

"Should any new and compelling evidence become available about the incident officers will assess this with a view to re-investigating.”

There is a fundraiser set up by family friend Karen Calver which you can donate to here.