Wesley Ward was all smiles after his 10th Royal Ascot win in 2018
Trainer Wesley Ward was the victim of a home burglary during training hours on the morning of Feb. 8, in which a thief got away with 12 trophies, including several he won at Royal Ascot.
Ward said a home security camera caught a few images of a stranger in his Versailles, Ky., home around 10 a.m. Tuesday, but did not show the person’s face.
It appeared the thief had some idea of what they were looking for. According to Ward, the Royal Ascot trophies were mostly in the form of watches inside silver and gold inscribed boxes, which he stored in their original jewelry boxes inside a bag in a closet.
“They were in a bag in the closet so they wouldn’t get stolen,” he said. “They were not on display.”
After speaking with police on Wednesday morning, Ward said he is hopeful there’s a chance the trophies — one of which was a Breeders’ Cup trophy — could be recovered.
“It’s just strange. Nobody comes in that house,” he said. “They were really of no value other than to me and to replace. Like, who’s going to buy them?”
The thief, who bypassed a laptop and a desktop computer, also made off with one of Ward’s Nest cameras. The security company has agreed to work with local police to get them any imagery that camera may have captured before it was pulled out of the wall.
Speaking with LEX 18 on Tuesday, Ward estimated the trophies would have a replacement value of some $100,000, but it’s their sentimental value he feels more heavily. One of the trophies was presented to him by Queen Elizabeth II — a rare honor for any trainer, and one experienced by few American horsemen.
Still, Ward says he’s taking the incident in stride.
“It’s a shame, but what are you going to do?” he said. “Move on and win some more.
“You can’t dwell on it, that’s for sure. I gave myself one night, that was it.”
Ward is the most decorated American trainer at the Royal Ascot meet, having become the first to win there during the 2009 meet with Strike The Tiger in the Windsor Castle and Jealous Again in the Group 2 Queen Mary. His other Royal Ascot wins include the 2013 G2 Norfolk with No Nay Never, the 2014 Windsor Castle with Hootenanny, the 2015 G1 Diamond Jubilee with Undrafted, the 2015 G2 Queen Mary with Acapulco, the 2016 G2 Queen Mary with Lady Aurelia, the 2017 G1 King’s Stand with Lady Aurelia, the 2017 Sandringham with Con Te Partiro, the 2018 G2 Norfolk with Shang Shang Shang, the 2020 Queen Mary with Campanelle, and the 2021 G1 Commonwealth Cup with Campanelle.