Four people from Sevenoaks have been banned from keeping horses after they kept sick animals in the same field as a rotting carcass and poisonous ragwort.

Harry Dunn, Tommy Tucker Dunn, Matthew Dunn and Christine Chambers were found guilty of offences under the Animal Welfare Act and sentenced at Sevenoaks Magistrates’ Court following a two day trial... READ MORE


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Rescue horses from a sanctuary in Liverpool are helping veterans overcome drug and alcohol addiction.

Veterans from Tom Harrison House - a specialist facility providing addiction treatment for ex-military - visit Shy Lowen Horse & Pony Sanctuary every week for equine therapy.

Former serviceman Paul says he enjoys working with the horses because "they've got issues, I've got issues, so we sort of relate to each other".


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Racing bosses who were warned not to run Many Clouds in big races due to health concerns could face prosecution, MailOnline can reveal today.

The 2015 Grand National winner died after collapsing due to a suspected heart attack at the Cheltenham Trials yesterday - just minutes after winning the Cotswold Chase.

After inflicting a first steeplechase defeat on Gold Cup favourite Thistlecrack, Many Clouds collapsed to the ground.

The crowd was stunned into silence as the news filtered through that the winner had died and jockey Leighton Aspell, Oliver Sherwood and viewers at home watched on in horror.

It has now emerged that the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) were aware of concerns about Many Cloud's welfare and they could face a criminal investigation.

Animal Aid's horse racing consultant, Dene Stansall, wrote to the BHA last year, asking bosses to withdraw the horse from the 2016 Grand National, after it suffered from 'wobbles' and required oxygen in some races... READ MORE


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A spate of horse dumpings are just the "tip of the iceberg" and the laws to stop them are not being enforced, a charity has claimed.

Janice Dixon, a vet from Help for Horses, said mandatory microchips were not being used and people were scared to report culprits.

She said she knew of seven cases in the past three months in the East Midlands.

The RSPCA said the country was experiencing a "horse crisis" and 70% of horses it attended were not chipped.

A dying horse was dumped along with other rubbish in Shirebrook, Derbyshire, in November, while a mare and two young horses were left at Little Eaton, also in Derbyshire, last week.

Other horses were recently reported found in Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Essex and Humberside.

A spokesman for the RSPCA said: "We believe the two main reasons for the ongoing horse crisis are the recession and over breeding.

"Prices for horses have dropped significantly, while irresponsible horse dealers continue to breed horses in the hope prices will rise."...READ MORE


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Convicted horse trainer Barney Davis discusses how rampant horse soring is in the Walking Horse industry.                                                 The Humane Society of the United States

A federal regulation designed to end the abusive practice of horse-soring is on hold. It was completed in the final days of the Obama administration, but on President Donald Trump's first day in office, the White House decided that all unpublished rules would be withdrawn and sent back to the relevant agency for review.

Wayne Pacelle, President of the Humane Society of the United States, wrote, "Horse abusers are getting a 'get out of jail free card' because of an ironic and potentially fatal one-two punch by the outgoing and incoming administrations."

USA Today reported that the horse-soring ban is one of dozens of proposed rules that were frozen by the Trump administration. That doesn't mean the ban is dead—the new administration could still revive it.

According to the Humane Society of the United States, the Office of the Federal Register failed to publish the rule in a timely manner after the USDA announced the new policy on January 13th. It's unclear why the former administration waited so long to make the changes permanent... READ MORE


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SAN BARTOLOME DE PINARES, Spain  — Once every winter, thick smoke begins to swallow up the houses in this village in the barren lands of Avila, northwest of Madrid. It means the town's bonfire festival honoring St. Anthony the Abbot has begun.

The music of a small bagpipe and a drum drift through the gloom. Then comes the clack of hooves on the cobblestone street. Suddenly, the flames roar up and horses and riders emerge to begin leaping through the flames.

                                                                                                                  AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti

St. Anthony the Abbot is the patron saint of domestic animals, and some townspeople say the celebration dates back five centuries to when the plague was fought with Roman Catholic rituals that used the smoke for purification.

San Bartolome de Pinares has kept its "luminarias" festival alive with religious intensity and unswerving pride, fending off criticism from animal rights groups.

 AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti

When agriculture was far more important, mules and donkeys also were led past the bonfires in a purifying ritual. Now, horses are the only animals used.

In recent years, tourists, journalists and photography aficionados have put attention on the ritual, which has come under attack from animal rights groups.

"There is no logic in forcing these animals into a stressful situation against their own nature," said Juan Ignacio Codina, one of the most vocal critics of the "luminarias" festival. "In the midst of the 21st century, this is something from a bygone era. There is no superstition or belief that should justify an act of such cruelty."

Codina's group, Observatory of Justice and Animal Defense, contends the "luminarias" break regional and national laws of animal protection and public entertainment shows and it filed a complaint with the regional government in 2013.

 AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti

The government of Castille and Leon, the region where San Bortolome sits, replied that veterinarians sent by authorities couldn't find any injuries on the horses from the bonfires.

"Not one burn, not even one harmed horse," said the mayor, Maria Jesus Martin, who insists that no horse is forced to jump over the frames.

"It makes me angry to hear the insults without those speaking knowing anything at all about the tradition," she said. "They call us stubborn, hicks. They have even openly called on social media to throw me, the mayor, into the bonfire."

AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti

Still, some in the village of 600 people think it would be better to return to a more moderate version of the festival. They say branches of pine and shrub for the bonfires used to arrive in small quantities on the backs of donkeys, but now the fuel is hauled in by trucks and the bonfires are much bigger and the smoke thicker.

Some people also would like to see a halt to the controversial jumping of the bonfires, since the original tradition only envisioned purifying the animals by walking them around — and not over — the flames.


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Tuesday, 15 November 2016 10:13

Rescue cob jumps for joy in his new life

A neglected rescue horse found in an appalling state is now a show jumping star after a remarkable turnaround.

Bertie arrived in the care of our Burford rehoming centre horrifically malnourished, covered in scabs, riddled with lice, suffering from strangles – a respiratory infection – and with overgrown feet.

Understandably, the suffering his poor cob had endured had made him untrusting of people, too.

But now, things couldn’t be more different for the five-year-old after Blue Cross nursed him back to health, taught him meaning of human kindness and found him a loving new home.

He is now flourishing in his home with Kerry Alexander, where he has been since November 2012, and he has become a “superb” all-round riding horse with a bright future ahead.

Jessica Parkes, Horse Care Groom at Burford, where Bertie – then called Emmett – spent nine months recovering, said:  “Bertie was very nervous and difficult to catch so needed lots of training to build on his confidence. He progressed well with his training whilst at the centre.

“Kerry backed him out in the home, and is doing amazingly with him. He is a far cry from the timid, skinny little youngster that came into the Blue Cross.” ...READ MORE

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Prince Harry will be taught the remarkable skills of the man dubbed 'the original horse whisperer', who has been helping psychologically damaged military veterans.

Harry, 33, has asked Monty Roberts to perform his technique of communicating with horses through body language, a method he has taught to ex-servicemen and women in a bid to help with conditions like post traumatic stress disorder.

California-born Mr Roberts told the Evening Standard: 'The prince has learned of this work and wanted to get a greater understanding. It will be an honour to show him.'

Harry has been supporting the nation's injured, sick and wounded servicemen and women and veterans through a number of projects including his Invictus Games, a Paralympics-style competition where many of those competing have lost limbs fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Mr Roberts has become a worldwide star thanks to his innovative techniques with horses and has been working with the Queen's horses for more than 25 years, after she first asked him to Windsor Castle in 1989.

The 81-year-old, who modestly describes himself as a Californian cowboy, regular stays at the Queen's private Sandringham home when training the monarch's animals... READ MORE


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An Irish show jumper under investigation after his horse died at an event in France on Monday has denied "whipping it to death".

Horse Sport Ireland is "extremely concerned" by reports of the "alleged circumstances" of the death of Kevin Thornton's horse, Flogas Sunset Cruise.

"There is no way I would ever whip a horse to death," he told The Irish Field. "That's not what happened."

A post mortem examination is due to be carried out on the horse.

The French equestrian federation is also involved in the investigation, as is the sport's world governing body, the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI).

The FEI said it had started a full investigation into the incident, which happened on a rest day between two international events in Cagnes-sur-Mer, and revealed the event's organising committee had filed a report to the police.

"The welfare of our equine athletes is our number one priority," added the FEI... READ MORE


The FEI has launched a full investigation into the death of the horse Flogas Sunset Cruise (FEI ID 103KQ92), ridden by Kevin Thornton (IRL), which occurred at the Cagnes-sur-Mer racetrack in France on Monday 10 October.

We are in direct contact with the Cagnes-sur-Mer Organising Committee, which has filed a report on the incident with the police. A post mortem is scheduled to be carried out on the horse today.

The welfare of our equine athletes is our number one priority and, although this incident took place on a rest day between two international events, the FEI has rules in place that mean any horse welfare issues can be addressed, even if they happen outside the duration of an FEI event.

In order to protect the integrity of the investigation we will not give any further comment at this point in time.

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Tuesday, 04 October 2016 16:34

Why is the world out for horses’ blood?

Horse blood farms are a growing business, China is buying up the world’s donkeys for their skins, and wild horses in the US face mass slaughter. Are we on the way to an equine wipe out?

Does it do any good signing petitions against various horrors, retweeting and reposting them, donating to them, until you are blue in the face? Sometimes, temporarily swamped and defeated by the volume of horror – wars, famines, refugees, heartless government decisions, dying bees, polluted seas, tortured this that and the other, and mass extinctions – I give up on them in despair, and delete them without looking properly. So I missed the recent one about horrid horse-blood farms, but Olivia didn’t.

She rang, outraged, wondering why on earth pharmaceutical companies need to nastily extract pregnant mares’ blood – no regulations, no inspections – for a particular hormone, which is then pumped into pigs to make them reproduce more. Why? We already slaughter three pigs a second in the UK.

Why horses, you may ask, with humans being blown to hell and starving? What’s so special about horses?... READ MORE

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