Walk­out threat­ened

Anger over han­dling of death of beloved horse

Evening Telegraph (First Edition) - - Uk World Today - BY JON BRADY

A VOL­UN­TEER at a dis­abled rid­ing char­ity has said she may walk away af­ter bosses put down a horse she had looked af­ter for years with­out telling her first.

Claire Sutherland, 23, has vol­un­teered with The Brae Rid­ing for the Dis­abled for a decade, and had worked with the horse, Prince, for eight years.

She told the Tele it had been “very up­set­ting” to learn, via so­cial me­dia, that Prince had been put down with­out warn­ing or vol­un­teers be­ing in­formed.

Other helpers turned up at the cen­tre on Mon­day for their reg­u­lar shifts to find the horse ly­ing dead, cov­ered with a piece of tar­pau­lin.

Claire, of Men­zieshill, said: “We all found out on Face­book, or turned up at the cen­tre and found him.

“I’ve worked with Prince for eight years and I’m up­set this has hap­pened this way. It’s dis­re­spect­ful the di­rec­tors couldn’t have had the de­cency to tell us this was go­ing to hap­pen.

“It’s mak­ing me want to walk away and I think The Brae is go­ing to lose a lot of vol­un­teers over this.”

Prince had de­vel­oped lamini­tis, an in­flam­ma­tory con­di­tion that can se­verely cripple horses. The char­ity at­tempted to find a buyer but none came for­ward.

Claire added that she and her fel­low vol­un­teers en­joyed help­ing at The Brae and that it did treat its horses well, but felt the bonds she and other vol­un­teers had forged had been ig­nored.

Ali­son Doyle, cen­tre man­ager, said it had not been the cen­tre’s in­ten­tion to up­set vol­un­teers.

She said: “Prince was our pri­or­ity and we felt that putting him to sleep in his home, where he was com­fort­able was the best thing for him.

“Not telling the vol­un­teers prior to Mon­day morn­ing, meant Prince was cared for and loved nor­mally with­out any up­set be­ing brought his way.

“Our vol­un­teers are very im­por­tant to us, are highly val­ued and we ap­pre­ci­ate that this has af­fected them greatly.

“Lessons have been learned and we will en­deav­our to keep ev­ery­one bet­ter in­formed in fu­ture.”

Claire with her beloved Prince.

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