Lameness is the most common reason for older horses to be put down, according to new research funded by The Horse Trust.

Of 118 horses – aged 15 or over – whose deaths were reported during an 18-month period, 111 were euthanased.

Some 24% were euthanased due to lameness, while an additional 12% were put down through laminitis – a common cause of lameness.

The research, the first in the UK to provide data on the causes of death in geriatric horses, was carried out by the University of Liverpool.

This news story was first published in the current issue of Horse & Hound (27 October, 2011)