Thousands of Horses Abandoned in the UK, according to

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An article published by the website reveals that thousands of horses are being abandoned by their owners as the upkeep costs rise to £100,000.

The cost of owning a horse in the UK has reached £100,000 and is causing many owners to simply abandon their horses.

“The recent case of horses being left to fend for themselves earlier this year in Wales forcing the local authority to consider euthanisation, is simply disturbing. Whilst we understand that upkeep costs have risen, that is no excuse to abandon a horse you have taken responsibility for.”
Steve Parrot, CEO Stoneways Horse insurance,

The article provides a comparison in the cost of upkeep of a horse with an average lifespan of 25 years to the upkeep of 1 child in the UK to 18 (and to 25 to match the comparison). In each example the cost of raising a child was on average £7,100 cheaper then keeping a horse for the same period.

“I am aware that it would cost more than having a child - not only because the average life span of a horse is rising to 30+! Yet owners need to think carefully before they act, consider making suitable changes to their horse’s lifestyle that could save money, or possibly consider re-homing. Abandonment is never a solution!"
Sarah Godfrey, Work Rider, Winchester, UK
(Feature blogger at

The article highlights the mass neglect amongst horse owners citing that many have been unable to sell their animals for a reasonable price and in some cases not at all. Horses are now in some cases being sold for £5 or less due to owners unwilling or unable to afford the high upkeep costs. There remain many owners who are unwilling to conform to this attitude.

“I spend approximately £3,000 a year on the upkeep of my own pony ‘Bliss’. Were my income to drop I would seek to re-home her. Abandoning her is unthinkable not only because I care, but because there are always alternative options. Money is never an excuse to neglect an animal. ”
Liz Duncan, British Riding Club, Winchester, UK

The outlook remains ‘bleak’ according to the article with a long term solution being educating people not to spend money on something they cannot afford but no solution to the existing problem in sight.

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Edward Bennett

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