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RFID Reins In Saddle Theft

An Australian company is inserting a passive RFID tag into every saddle it makes, to ensure police or ranchers can identify its rightful owner.
By Claire Swedberg
Once the tag is inserted, Scott notes, most people handling the saddle would be unaware that it was there at all. "As it is purchased, used and sold to others, the tag is simply dormant in the saddle itself," he states. "But if a saddle is stolen and recovered, the origins of the saddle can be detected instantly."

Police "stock squads" that cover regional areas carry RFID readers to identify missing or stolen cattle, and can simply read the saddle's tag, after which Paul Gollan would need to identify its owner. In addition, owners could opt to track their own saddles, based on the IDs encoded to the tags. According to Scott, Australian companies are currently developing cloud-based ownership databases for tracking saddles and other items, and customers have expressed an interest in utilizing such services. In that case, a saddle owner could communicate directly with police in order to identify a missing saddle, rather than needing to request a purchase history from Paul Gollan Saddlery's database, based on the tag's RFID number.


Gollan inserts a 134 kHz tag into each saddle's frame.

Since launching the RFID solution earlier this year, the saddlery now inserts an RFID tag into every new saddle it crafts, recording the tag's unique ID number in the company's database. With each sale, Gollan stores the customer's name and the date of purchase and links that data to the saddle's ID number by interrogating its tag using a Datamars Bluestick handheld reader.

Just knowing that the RFID chip is in the saddle has elicited interest from buyers, Gollan reports, since it enables them to confirm their own ownership.

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