Dorset tractor pulling favourite stolen from Shaftesbury farm
ONE of the best-known vehicles from the local tractor pulling circuit has been stolen from a farm near Shaftesbury.
Thieves took Gary Swanton's heavily customised Ford 7810 from Guy's Marsh Farm at around 2.45am on Thursday 10th January.
A reward is being offered for the safe return of the unique vehicle.
Worth around £12,000, the blue tractor is irreplaceable as Gary, who works as an agricultural contractor, has spent 15 years modifying it for competitions.
The vehicle, known as She's a Perfect Ten, has taken part in tractor pulling events across the local area and as far away as Gloucester.
"The tractor had been built especially for the shows so it's not like a new tractor that can just be replaced. It has been stripped right down and I spent hundreds of hours on it," Gary said.
"I really enjoyed taking part in tractor pulling. It draws big crowds and lots of people will recognise my tractor."
The work Gary has done on the tractor, vehicle registration F959 MWL, means it is very distinctive. There is a banner across the front windscreen which reads "She's a Perfect Ten" and "Parker Power Tuned" graphics on the side door. Although the tractor is a Ford, the engine is a 7.5-litre New Holland TX66 with a Holset Turbo off a Cummins L10 and has New Holland side stripes on the bonnet. The wings, steps and grille are painted black and the vehicle was recently fitted with white wheel rims.
The tractor was used for work on the farm and thieves unhitched a feed wagon from the back of the vehicle before driving away with it.
The theft is being investigated by Dorset Police.
CCTV captured the vehicle leaving the farm at 2.45am and it was seen in Manston, heading towards Sturminster Newton, at around 3am. It is thought that the tractor was following a white van and was being followed by a quad bike.
Anyone with information should contact Dorset Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.