Charity Auction Thefts Pursued

Organizers of the ninth annual Shoemaker Foundation are looking for the person or persons responsible for taking a conformation painting of Secretariat from the annual dinner held at Walmac International near Lexington Sept. 9.

On Sept. 8, a cooler blanket was taken from the Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association annual awards dinner at Vinery. Sheila Kenny, director of special events for TOBA, said someone apparently walked off with the item as final tallies for a silent auction were being processed.

Shoemaker organizer John Walden said the 24-by-30-inch oil painting by Nancy Kleck, valued at $5,000, was taken from its display in the silent auction area at about 1 a.m. (EDT) on Sept. 10.

The silent auction began at 6 p.m., and the painting was on display as late as 12:30 a.m., Walden said. Also taken the same evening was costume jewelry and a backpack.

"It seems like one or two items are stolen every year, but it's hard to believe that a painting as large as that could be taken," Walden said. "I can't believe that anyone would steal from a charity."

Currently there are no leads. Any information can be reported to John Walden at (859) 988-9964 or (859) 227-0425.