Image: PA

Equine squatters: the topic that united the Countryside Alliance and the RSPCA

27 May 2015 10:26

In September last year I wrote about horses being illegally grazed and abandoned, and the inability of landowners to do anything about it. Back then, the government were poised to… Continue reading

Image: Getty

Shooting Dartmoor ponies? Fabulous idea

2 February 2015 12:37

A gunman is shooting ponies on Dartmoor. Yes, it’s true; a trained sniper is wandering the moor, singling out ponies one by one. But don’t worry – it’s probably not… Continue reading

Wigmore Hall at Newmarket in 2010. Image: Getty

Why shooting Wigmore Hall was the kindest thing to do

23 September 2014 12:01

On Saturday, the Daily Mirror published a front-page photograph of the racehorse Wigmore Hall with a gun to his head, about to be put down, having broken its leg. Unsurprisingly,… Continue reading

Image: Getty

The equine squatters that landowners have no power to evict

3 September 2014 14:10

Fly-grazing will be discussed for two hours in Parliament this afternoon. But what is it – and why should the government care? Put simply, fly-grazing is the unauthorised grazing of land by… Continue reading

Image: Getty

Why Charles Moore could be wrong about the changes at Horse and Hound

25 May 2014 10:24

As Charles Moore has reported in his Spectator’s Notes this week, changes are afoot at equestrians’ favourite publication, Horse and Hound. Speculating on the decision to replace their editor with… Continue reading

Pippa Funnell riding Redesigned at the Badminton Horse Trials on May 9, 2014. Image: Getty

If you’re after equality, don’t show women’s football. Show Badminton.

10 May 2014 10:40

Over the next two days, one of the most important events in the British sporting calendar takes place. No, not the final day of the Premier League season. Badminton Horse… Continue reading

Zara Phillips competing in Buckinghamshire this weekend, 12 weeks after giving birth. Image: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

Zara Phillips and The Queen are a well-needed breath of fresh air

22 April 2014 18:32

‘Look at how fantastic Kate looks on her tour of Australia and New Zealand’, everyone exclaims. ‘And she only gave birth 9 months ago!’ Yes, the Duchess of Cambridge certainly… Continue reading

Britain's first cloned puppy. Image: Channel 4

The cloning industry may be closer than you think

15 April 2014 14:55

A cute puppy is natural front-page fodder, as the birth of Britain’s first cloned puppy last week proved. When it was announced that Rebecca Smith, from London, had won a… Continue reading

Tony McCoy celebrates his win on Sychronised in 2012. Image: Getty

Cheltenham Gold Cup predictions: Peter Oborne, Robin Oakley, and more

14 March 2014 12:00

The jewel in the crown of the Cheltenham Festival – the Gold Cup – starts this afternoon at 3.20. And, unsurprisingly, today is also one of the biggest betting days… Continue reading

Frankel and Danedream - a match made in heaven? Images: PA

A racing tip for the future

29 January 2014 10:04

Here’s a tip for the gamblers among you, albeit one that you’ll have to sit on for a while. Danedream, winner of the 2011 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, has… Continue reading

HRH Princess Anne, The Princess Royal, riding Stevie B, falls at the water jump during the cross country equestrian event at the Badminton Horse Trials on 1st May 1982.

Let us eat horse

15 November 2013 19:09

Could creating a UK market for horsemeat be the solution to the increasing number of equine welfare cases? This was the question posed by Princess Anne yesterday at World Horse… Continue reading

Is it horse? Or is it beef? And whose is it, anyway? Image: Getty

Never accept meat from strangers

16 May 2013 10:00

Never accept meat from strangers. That seems to be the lesson of the horsemeat scandal – at least for the ex-commercial director of Freeza Meats. In September 2012, an Environment Health… Continue reading

A horse on display at a horse market in Poland. Image: Getty

After the bute revelation, what’s the government doing to prevent another horsemeat scandal?

11 April 2013 16:47

When shadow Defra minister, Mary Creagh, first raised the possibility four months ago that the veterinary drug phenylbutazone – aka bute – might be found in horsemeat in supermarket products… Continue reading

Horsemeat for sale in a French butchers last week. Image: Getty

Horsemeat scandal: four key questions

17 February 2013 10:35

The ongoing horsemeat scandal has opened up a hugely complicated web stretching across the EU, highlighting the difficulty of tracing the origins of the meat on sale in this country.… Continue reading

Nutrition At Football Stadiums

Irish food safety chief now appointed Irish horse chief - Spectator Blogs

1 February 2013 13:07

Some jokes just write themselves. Hurrah for Ireland: The former head of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland has been appointed chairman of Horse Sport Ireland. Prof Patrick Wall, who… Continue reading

Drugs which are safe for him aren't necessarily safe for you Image: Getty

How could carcinogenic drugs have got into the food chain? Ask Defra

24 January 2013 17:28

Shadow Defra minister Mary Creagh told MPs today about her fears that a carcinogenic drug commonly used as an anti-inflammatory in horses could have entered the human food chain. Speaking… Continue reading

These ponies might look healthy, but they're not necessarily edible. Image: Getty

Horse meat in burgers might not be as harmless as you think

22 January 2013 12:30

This week’s discovery that some burgers sold in UK supermarkets contain up to 29 per cent horse meat was met with a combination of concerns about the labelling and sourcing… Continue reading


Department of Equine Hyperbole

14 October 2009 16:54

Sea the Stars winning the Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp. Photo: Michael Steele/Getty Images. So long, then, Sea the Stars. A shame you won’t run as a four year old… Continue reading

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Picture of the Day

14 May 2008 20:31

Skipper Neil Darling and his Selkirk team-mates celebrate after Monday night’s Border League final victory over Jed-Forest, bringing the title back to Philiphaugh for the first time in 55 years.… Continue reading


Picture of the Day

6 May 2008 11:37

Back from Ireland and, whaddyaknow, it’s like summer has finally arrived here. By which I mean that temperatures have soared into the 70s. Regular blogging to resume soon. Meanwhile, here’s… Continue reading


Picture of the Day

6 October 2007 16:19

I trust that Steve Clemons, pride and joy of the New America Foundation, won’t object if I thieve this adorable picture of his dogs, Oakley (left) and Annie. I grew… Continue reading