A sad farewell, Olympic horses secured, and other things the horse world is talking about

Horse & Hound’s daily debrief, brought to you every weekday

  • 1. An equine charity’s tribute to a “well-loved” long-term resident

    The Donkey Sanctuary has said the death of 12-year old Bonnie will leave a “big hole” in the hearts of staff and visitors to the charity. On 13 February Bonnie started showing signs of colic, and deteriorated. She underwent surgery that day, and although it went well, by 16 February her health declined and it was agreed to make the “heartbreaking” decision to put her down. Bonnie came to the Donkey Sanctuary as a foal and “loved being the centre of attention”. “Bonnie’s memory will remain strong with the team – she truly had the most amazing character and loving nature,” said a spokesman for the charity.

    Read the full story

    2. A British owner securing Olympic hopefuls for a top Irish rider

    Cian O’Connor’s Paris 2024 hopes are alive thanks to investment from Sarah Stoute of Keysoe International into two horses. Cian contacted Sarah when offers started coming in for 12-year-old Maurice and 10-year-old Fermoy. “It’s very difficult to turn down such offers,” Cian said. “The Irish team is very strong and so to make Olympic selection having enough horsepower and being match-fit is so important.” The plan is that both horses will be future rides for Sarah’s daughter Keira.

    Read more from Cian and Sarah

    3. £5,000 fines on the cards for horse welfare offences

    The Animals (Penalty Notices) Act has come into force, allowing local authorities to issue fines of up to £5,000 for animal welfare offences. World Horse Welfare has welcomed the news, and said “the notices will allow local authorities to take stronger action if a low-level welfare concern is not addressed, or a similar offence is repeatedly committed, without a lengthy and costly court process”. Serious offences will still be prosecuted.

    Find out more about the fines

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