Ireland's recession hits horses hard

Just a few years ago ago, the Irish economy was so strong that people couldn’t seem to get their hands on enough luxuries. Vacation homes, Mercedes Benz’s and dinners at expensive restaurants all became par for the course as the Celtic Tiger roared. But things have changed. Irish folks who decided they were flush enough to “join the horsey set” have now been walloped by the recession, and it’s not just their families that are suffering. Their horses are feeling the brunt as well. A spokesman for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals tells The Irish Times that reports are coming in every day throughout the Irish countryside of horses are being abandonded, and left underfed on remote rural roads or fields. Owners, apparently, can no longer afford to pay the €100 or so it costs each week to feed a horse, or the attendant costs of grooming and medical care. The situation, he says, is the worst it’s been in almost 50 years.