Authorities say the Antarès saddle was sold by Judy Mielenz in May 2011 to a customer at the Brownland Farm Horse Show. The customer, who had known Mielenz for twenty years, traded a Butet saddle and paid almost two thousand dollars by check to Judy’s Tack Shop.
Two Antarès saddles were reported stolen from the Ocala HITS Horse Show Office in February 2011 after a horse show staff member signed for the package. Mielenz was a horse show vendor during the theft and other thefts that took place on the show grounds.
The first stolen saddle was recovered in Iowa at the Maffitt Lake Equestrian Center in September 2011. Mielenz allegedly told authorities the saddle was on consignment although it didn’t contain the normal paperwork. Mielenz supplied a consignment form for the saddle to investigators. The police report states the consignment letter “is believed to be a fraud.” Mielenz allegedly told deputies she was unaware of the thefts and according to their report failed to mention she was a vendor at HITS.
Mielenz is charged with dealing in stolen property and tampering with evidence – both felonies. She is scheduled to be arraigned next week.