The RSPCA launches campaign to rescue hundreds of horses in Wales abandoned by their owners

There is growing concern in Wales over the numbers of horses and ponies being turned out on to common land because their owners no longer want or are able to look after them.

The RSPCA Cymru Wales has appointed its first ever equine rehoming officer, Sally Learoyd, to deal with the problem.

“Many of the horses that we have in our care at present are ones that have had a useful life, but have been turned out and forgotten as they are too old to work and are in of need extra comforts during the winter months, ” said Sally.

“People need to think carefully aboutthe commitment involved with looking after horses before taking them on.”

Kevin Manning, RSPCA superintendent for Wales, said: ” The indiscriminate over breeding of horses is the root of the problem in Wales.

“Horses are being sold for as little as £1 in markets and the people who buy them often don’t know how to properly care for them. The owners turn them on to common land where the horses simply can’t cope.”

Some of the ponies in need of care over the winter months are the wild Welsh Mountain ponies in Pembrokeshire and the Brecon Beacons, as well as other upland areas.

Over the past six months the society has successfully rehomed 40 horses and there are 38 in the society’s care.

Among the horse now looking for new homes are:

  • Yollo, a 22-year-old bay gelding. A16.1hh retired racehorse, Yollo has a kind temperament, but needs an expert home.

  • Hedley, a 21-year-old “well-mannered” Welsh Cob stallion.

  • Sparkie, a 19-year-old bay retired racehorse. At 16.2hh Sparkie is said to be “sweet tempered and easy to handle”, but needs an expert semi-retirement home.

    For more information in rehoming (tel: 08705 555999) and ask to leave a message for the equine rehoming officer for Wales.