A horse owner who says she has “had enough” of paying for show stabling only to find it complete with dirty bedding has warned of the potential risks.
The rider, who did not want to be named, told H&H she regularly travels to shows with her daughter, but it “drives her mad” to find the stables have not been emptied after they have been used, and she is concerned about biosecurity.
“I don’t want to put my horse in dirty bedding that could be infected,” she said.
“There’s been recent outbreaks of equine herpes virus, and what about other diseases?
“Yet when you ask the show centres if you’ll get a clean stable, some of them get funny with you.”
The owner said at one show, for example, she paid £75 for one night’s stabling and electrical hook-up, yet arrived to find the box “full of old bedding”.
“I had to spend an hour getting it out before I could put my horse in,” she said.
And as well as the biosecurity issues, the owner has concerns about possible drug contamination from dirty bedding.
“No one seems to be addressing the issue,” she said.
“Some centres are brilliant; you get there and the stables are completely empty and clean, which is how it should be, but others are absolutely vile, and even clean-looking bedding could be contaminated.
“It’s a real concern of mine. We’re out nearly every weekend competing and the last thing we want is [for our horse] to come back with some sort of disease.
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“Some places are getting away with charging you a fortune for these dirty stables, and I’d be devastated if my horse caught something from one show.
“It frightens me because it’s not safe.”