1. ‘No horse’s life should end like that’
Our story about a vet’s call for owners of elderly and unrideable horses to act responsibility and “do the right thing”, instead of passing them on either for free or a nominal sum to an unknown future, has reached more than 278,037 people on Facebook, attracting in excess of 860 shares and 350 comments. The piece was prompted by the vet being called out to a collapsed mare, who had been sold as a seven-year-old when she was actually in her 20s and suffering from poor health. The emaciated mare was unable to get to her feet and was put down. “This mare was in a place she didn’t really know, she couldn’t get up and she was terrified. There is no dignity in that,” said the vet.
2. A top rider making the right decision at the right time
In stark contrast to the sad story above, double Olympic team gold medallist FRH Butts Abraxxas has been put down at the age of 25, having enjoyed his retirement in “box number one” and out at grass with his “best friend” Weisse Düne, following his successful career at the highest level of the sport. In a post on her Facebook page, rider Ingrid Klimke said “Braxxi” was “still fit and cheerful, but an acute heart failure caused by age forced us not to let him suffer”. Braxxi was retired after finishing fourth at Burghley Horse Trials in 2013 and he showed Ingrid’s daughter Greta the ropes of moving from ponies to horses before his time under saddle came to an end.
3. British Showjumping winter champions crowned
Competition was hot at Northcote Stud as showjumpers from around the country flocked to the British Showjumping Spring Championships. Among the winners were a lawyer who “juggles horses around work with lots of early mornings and late nights” and a rider who made a successful comeback to top-level competition after seriously fracturing her spine. “I broke my spine in half; it was dislodged by about 40 degrees,” Shannon Wilson explained. “But my horse is very good, he just takes me round.”
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