August 2, 2021 5.16 pm This story is over 33 months old

Stop feeding the horses: Owner’s plea after tragic Lincoln South Common death

A growing problem in Lincoln, especially since the pandemic

A woman who owns a horse on Lincoln’s South Common is pleading with people not to feed the animals after another owner’s beloved pet tragically died at the weekend.

Vera, a 14-year-old horse, was owned by a man called John. There are around eight or nine horses left on the South Common now, including one owned by Charlotte Houlden.

Charlotte was called at around 7.30pm on Sunday, August 1 regarding John’s horse Vera, who was down and struggling to get back up again.

She told The Lincolnite the horse had been given cake, bread and carrots that day and that’s only what was known, as more bad items may also have been given to the animal.

Charlotte keeps most of her own horses on a private field, but is angry at the treatment of the ones still on the common. She added that signage she had previously put up at the common has been ripped down.

Horse owners are urging people not to feed their animals on the South Common in Lincoln. | Photo: Charlotte Houlden

Charlotte said: “We quickly assessed the situation and originally thought colic due to her (Vera) sweating and straining. We called her owner who in turned called the vet before rushing to the common himself.

“The couple who called us and their lovely neighbour were there helping us keep the horse nice and calm.

“The vets arrived just after 8pm and and confirmed it wasn’t actually colic going by her bloodshot eyes, shallow breathing and stiff legs. Something had poisoned her and she also went cold very suddenly.

“The vets gave her some pain relief to see if it would help, and we all tried to roll her onto her knees so she could attempt to get up. She did manage it with a lot of encouragement, but was too weak. Her back legs wouldn’t hold her and she was down again in less than 10 seconds.

“At this stage the owner and vets agreed she won’t make it, and I was asked to make the call to John Lord just before 9pm to come and put her to sleep. John humanely dispatches horses and other large animals and is extremely good at his job. He was there within the hour and she was put to sleep using an instantaneous method.

“The last thing she heard was “good girl” and she was gone. The pain relief she received kept her calm and comfortable during the wait.

“She’ll be greatly missed by horse owners and common visitors alike. She was a very loving horse.”

Horses on the South Common in Lincoln. | Photo: Charlotte Houlden

The problem of people feeding horses on the South Common has been ongoing for years and has become even worse during the coronavirus lockdown.

Charlotte added: “It’s a daily occurrence despite signs and people being asked to stop.

“Please don’t feed them anything at all. Give them a good back or neck scratch instead, the horses love that and it’s not something that can kill them like feeding can and has.

“It’s been a slight problem for years but it’s been really bad ever since the first lockdown last year.

“As more people used the common, which is brilliant, unfortunately more people started feeding the horses. Now it’s many people every day and they can be so nasty when asked to stop.

“It’s not just on the commons, it’s happening all over, including private fields.

“We lost a wonderful family pony as a result of someone feeding him. He choked, reared, hit his poll and ended up with severe neurological issues and blindness. He had to be put to sleep, bless him.”