Horse dies hours after walker fed him shell-on monkey nuts and almonds

  • The heartbroken owner of a horse who died hours after he was given shell-on monkey nuts, almonds and peanuts wants to help educate the public on the dangers of feeding horses.

    Tanya Edwards’ 10-year-old Welsh section D gelding Morgan had to be put down last Saturday morning (20 February). She told H&H a dog-walker had been seen ignoring “do not feed” signs to give Morgan and another horse the nuts.

    Morgan had suffered mild colic on the Thursday, Tanya said, and her vet had administered bute and buscopan, and advised exercise, and all seemed well.

    “Within a few hours, he seemed absolutely fine,” she said. “By the time I left at midnight, he was eating, drinking and dunging, and there were no signs of pain at all. I came back at 5am and he was perky, and neighing.

    “The vet said ‘excellent’, and that it seemed he was absolutely fine, but to put him out and keep him moving, and only let him have grass and hay. I turned him out and he was happy, grazing with his mates.”

    Tanya stayed at the yard until 9.30am, and when she returned two hours later, Morgan appeared well.

    Half an hour later, a fellow livery called her.

    “She was in an absolute state, saying she’d seen a lady feeding him and her horse monkey nuts in shells, almonds and peanuts,” Tanya said. “Within two hours, Morgan had relapsed.

    “The vet came back but we couldn’t save him.”

    A post-mortem showed an impaction and a torsion, and although Tanya cannot say for definite it was the nuts at fault, she knows Morgan seemed to have recovered from his previous bout.

    “It’s like getting over a bout of horrific gastroenteritis and then going out for a curry,” she said. “I tried to put a very balanced post on Facebook explaining how delicate horses’ digestion is, but the rule needs to be, if it’s not your horse, leave it alone.”

    Tanya said that had there not been signs “plastered all over the place”, she could have blamed the feeding on ignorance.

    “The dog walker felt entitled enough to ignore our signs,” she said. “My friend who caught her called her out, and the woman said ‘I’ve done my research’ and that it was ok to feed the nuts. She was feeding so much, they were all over the floor where the horses were shoving them in.

    “She only apologised after my friend was shouting that Morgan had nearly died the night before; she was defiant.”

    Tanya is urging owners to sign a petition to the Government calling for feeding other people’s animals to become an offence.

    Continued below… 

    “Morgan was a big baby; a real softy,” she said. “He could be a bit of a drama llama but he was so kind, even when he was in so much pain and the vet was examining him. Kids used to call him Black Beauty, and say he was like the Lloyds bank horse.

    “He was going to be my next for ever horse; I loved him as soon as I saw him.

    “I do feel that it should be a punishable offence to feed someone’s animal without permission. If not, any awareness we can raise would still be great. As long as my boy’s death isn’t completely in vain then I can hope to come to terms with his far too premature loss.”

    Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday, is packed with all the latest news and reports, as well as interviews, specials, nostalgia, vet and training advice. Find how you can enjoy the magazine delivered to your door every week, plus options to upgrade to access our H&H Plus online service which brings you breaking news as it happens as well as other benefits.

    You may like...