16 horses dying in one week, a ‘self-made’ staffing crisis, and other things the horse world is talking about

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  • 1. Owner speaks out after legal case

    The owner of one of 16 horses who died at the same livery yard within a week has told her story in the hope she might be able to prevent others’ suffering. Eliza Simpson’s pony Rosie was seven when she had to be put down, in October 2020, and Eliza was eight. Her mother Michaela is one of nine owners with whom the yard owner has now settled out of court, without admitting liability, in a legal case.

    Read the full story

    2. A ‘self-made’ staffing crisis

    A livery yard owner, rider, dressage judge and coach based in Oxfordshire contacted H&H having read “with alarm” recent pieces on the plight of grooms in the sector and believes the staffing crisis is “entirely of our own making”. “I’ve been reading the articles on H&H and it’s horrific what’s been happening, but I think this [situation] is entirely of our own making,” she said, explaining that the five staff at her small yard are legally and fairly employed, with contracts and paid sick leave, holiday and overtime. “But many yards cannot afford to do this, and therein lies the issue,” she told H&H. “Most yards do not have a viable business model.”

    Read Ali Dane’s views on the current staffing crisis

    3. The dangers of giving away horses

    Following a vet’s recent experience where she was called to an emaciated mare, who had recently been sold for a “bargain” price as a seven-year-old, but was found to be elderly and in poor health, and had to be put down, a Paralympic medallist and her daughter have spoken out about horses’ being given away for free or sold cheaply. They’ve urged owners to think about what the worst-case scenario could be. Lauren Criddle and her mother Deb Criddle, who was part of the London 2012 gold-medal winning para dressage team, agree with Natalie and have shared their experience of a KWPN gelding they bought in 2013 – who ultimately had to put down two years later when he was unrideable and dangerous.

    Read the Criddles’ story

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