The British Horse Society (BHS) has condemned the idea of giving away horses as lottery prizes, after being alerted to 2 dealers on Facebook selling tickets to win a pony for £10.
Concerned readers contacted H&H after spotting the pages on Facebook last week.
Chris Millard Cobsandponys was offering a lottery of £10 per ticket to have a chance of winning a “very safe riding mare”.
Another page said: “Don’t miss out on the chance to win a lovely section D mare”, also
for £10. This post appears to have since been removed.
The BHS branded their actions “extremely irresponsible”.
“Horses are not suitable prizes. If they end up with someone who doesn’t know what they are doing there is huge potential for the horse to suffer,” said BHS director of equine policy Lee Hackett.
But although readers might be shocked, it would seem offering horses as a prize is not illegal.
“Under the Animal Welfare Act it is only an offence to give an animal away as a prize to an under 16,” Lee added. “All we can do is hope that the organisers have put in robust measures to ensure the horse ends up in a home where it will be correctly cared for and does not put anybody at risk.”
H&H contacted Chris Millard, but did not get a response.
The Gambling Commission added that there was “no ethical stance” on offering animals as prizes through Facebook.
This article was first published in H&H magazine (28 November, 2013)