“Horse pensions” should be introduced to ensure the long-term future of top-level equine athletes, according to one horse owner.
After buying a former grade A show jumper in poor condition several years ago, Jen Moon now believes that a percentage of horses’ winnings should be set aside to support them in their retirement.
“I understand it wouldn’t be possible to for all horses, but once horses have reached a certain level of winnings, they have become ‘equine heroes’,” she said.
“When horses become publicly loved and known there is a duty of care not just from owners and riders but the organisations who support and sponsor the classes.”
She said that while many benefit from the horses’ talent, their winnings may not be re-invested in their long-term care.
“For some of them, all they get is old and then they get moved on,” she said.
She would also like a percentage of the fund to be given to an organisation such as World Horse Welfare. This way the money earned by these successful competition horses would also benefit those horses that need additional support.
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Jen, who recently set up a yard in France with her husband Nick, said that her experience with the former top-level showjumping horse had “highlighted that something needs to be done”.
“A pension isn’t an impossible thing, there is a place for it in this day and age in the sport. These horses should live out their days with the standard of care they have had their entire lives,” she said.
Jen said that she was now looking into setting up a retirement home for top-level horses at her 25 hectare base.
“We would have it open to public and do regular social media updates so everyone knows how the horses are doing,” she said. “If it was funded by a pension and people knew the horses were being taken care of then I think more people might take up the option.”
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