Arrest at HITS Ocala in Saddle Thefts

Updated March 20, 2012

A horse show vendor was arrested at HITS Post Time Farm as the last week of the Ocala Circuit wrapped up.

Judy Mielenz, owner of Judy’s Tack was nabbed Friday for grand theft. Officials say she is facing felony charges of dealing in stolen property and evidence tampering.

Director of Marketing and Public Relations for HITS, Inc. Danette Kadlic, based in New York, was not aware of the arrest when we spoke with her. She said it’s not something they’re worried about and that they are there to “run horse shows”.

According to a police report, an Antarès representative reported two saddles stolen from the HITS Horse Show office in February 2011 after a package was signed for by a HITS staff member. The saddles valued at more than $8,000 were entered into a national database as being stolen. Antarès Sellier did not return our call.

Rate My Horse PRO spoke with Mielenz who said she believed the matter involved only one saddle, “I had a stolen saddle sent to me to sell, but I didn’t sell it. I returned it to the people it was stolen from.” Mielenz says she is in the process of finding an attorney to speak with since charges have been filed.

One of the stolen saddles was found by an Antarès representative in September 2011 at an Iowa horse show. Judy’s Tack was consigning the new saddle for a customer, but without her company’s normal paperwork and tags because they were “lost,” according to officials.

When questioned, Mielenz allegedly told authorities she was unaware of the multiple thefts at HITS Ocala earlier that year; she was a vendor when the thefts happened, which deputies say she failed to mention. Authorities state the paperwork provided by Mielenz, from the saddle’s alleged owner, “is suspected highly probable to be written by her.”

Mielenz posted bond Friday night and was released from jail. A court date has not been scheduled.