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An Esher horse owner who has had her yard flooded twice this year has made the decision to euthanase her 4 horses, calling it the “saddest and most desperate day in all my life”.

Jenny Andersson — who has competed in affiliated eventing and owned horses for 15 years — was first forced her to evacuate the yard, Garsons Farm, in January. The farm is by a river, on a floodplain and had similar problems last winter. The damage caused to equipment is estimated at £20,000, and continued rain this year has meant the situation has hardly improved. She told local newspapers that she could no longer “keep pouring money into a black hole”.

She has now left the farm, and had the horses put to sleep earlier this month. 2 of the horses were 14, one 17 and the fourth 20. They were all “pretty much retired from work”.

Ms Andersson wrote in her blog of her “heart-breaking decision to bring the lives of my beloved horses to an end” for their safety and comfort in the face of repeated flooding.

She said that turnout was dangerous due to a fast-running high river flowing in the field, fencing washed away, and that the stables were filled with “filthy floodwater”.

Ms Andersson paid tribute to the many people who offered stabling and field space, but as this would have involved splitting the herd up, or turning them out 24/7, this was not an option as some were thin-skinned thoroughbreds.

She was nervous of selling them to unscrupulous buyers who might compete them on bute or sell them on.

“After weeks of sleepless nights, trying to weigh up a hundred different alternatives, the only decision was to allow them to go peacefully in the home where they lived for the last 15 years, together as a herd.”