The raffling of a four-year-old pony in a £10-a-ticket draw has caused concern among horse owners and equine welfare groups.

Under the Animal Welfare Act it is legal to raffle a pony, however Out Moss Lane Livery Yard, near Morecambe, Lancs, which ran the draw on 24 July will be investigated by Trading Standards.

An H&H reader, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “This is a sad example of a sector of the equestrian community that treats horses as disposable trinkets.”

Pauline Tippett, who runs the stables, said: “The only people allowed to enter were on the yard so we knew he would go to a good home. We could not sell him but didn’t want him to go to an auction house as you never know where they will end up.”

An RSPCA spokesman added: “Whatever the conditions the prize-giver imposes on the winner, it is impossible to ensure the wellbeing of that animal.”

And World Horse Welfare agreed. “We do not condone the sale of horses in raffles — it is an irresponsible way to rehome,” a spokesman said.

This story was first published in Horse & Hound (4 August, 2011)