CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Hertfordshire Life today CLICK HERE

Reining in horse numbers

PUBLISHED: 15:44 07 July 2015 | UPDATED: 15:44 07 July 2015

'Castration does not just prevent a stallion producing foals. It usually results in the horse becoming more amenable and easier to handle'

'Castration does not just prevent a stallion producing foals. It usually results in the horse becoming more amenable and easier to handle'


A new scheme by the British Horse Society is tackling the issue of horse overpopulation

The British Horse Society recently held the first of its 2015 castration clinics at a site near Southampton. A total of 28 colts and stallions were gelded at the clinic, which was supported by the RSPCA, World Horse Welfare, Blue Cross and Redwings.

The clinic also marked the first collaboration between the BHS and the British Equine Veterinary Association. Through the BEVA Trust, eight volunteer vets from across Britain travelled to Southampton to help tackle Britain’s equine welfare crisis.

Charities have been reporting for many years the serious equine overpopulation issue that Britain faces. The stark truth is that there are more horses and ponies than the UK can cope with, and this leads to cases of neglect, suffering and abandonment, leaving charities to pick up the pieces. However, charity resources are limited and there will come a time when they are completely overwhelmed unless action is taken. Thousands of horses are currently being monitored, having been identified as being at serious risk. Should a large number of these horses require immediate intervention, charities will not be able to cope.

Overpopulation cannot be allowed to continue, which is why the British Horse Society and its partners are taking such proactive measures. BHS director of equine policy Lee Hackett said, ‘We cannot stand by and ignore the problems that overpopulation and indiscriminate breeding cause. Over the next 18 months we hope to run clinics all over Britain and castrate as many horses as we can. The 28 castrations we performed in one day in Southampton was a fantastic achievement. When you consider how many foals a stallion can produce in a lifetime, we could, in just one day, have prevented the birth of hundreds, if not thousands of foals, many of whom would have faced a very uncertain future.

Julian Samuelson, chairman of the BEVA Trust committee, said its vet volunteers are ‘hugely enthusiastic’ about the project. He added, ‘By castrating colts and stallions together with microchipping, we are directly helping to reduce breeding and improve traceability. We look forward to participating in future clinics.’

Castration does not just prevent a stallion producing foals. It usually results in the horse becoming more amenable and easier to handle, increasing the likelihood of it fulfilling a useful role as a riding horse and safeguarding its future. Horses with a job to do have a value, and are far less likely to fall into a spiral of neglect and abandonment than those that are difficult to handle. Many livery yards and even field owners will not allow stallions on their premises, so gelding a horse means the animal is far less likely to end up tethered or fly-grazing. Castration can directly improve a horse’s quality of life.

The BHS Castration Campaign has the potential to make a real difference to the future welfare of British horses, but it needs urgent support. For more information visit or to donate, text BHSA60 £5 to 70070.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hertfordshire visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hertfordshire staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hertfordshire account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & About

Yesterday, 10:05

From Aldbury to Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire has a plethora of pretty villages. We have picked just 10 that you should visit

Read more
Friday, November 16, 2018

Christmas isn’t complete without a trip to a festive fair. From German-style food stalls to vintage fetes, Hertfordshire’s Christmas markets have it all

Read more
Wednesday, October 31, 2018

We quiz author Kevin Exley about his new book that takes the reader on the trail of fascinating stories, new and old, around Berkhamsted

Read more
October 2018
Monday, October 29, 2018

Hertfordshire is a county with a vast, fascinating and sometimes dark and bloody history that has reportedly lead to more than a few angry ghosts sticking around to wreak havoc and take revenge on the living. We have gathered 10 of the most haunted places in the county

Read more
Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Make the most out of autumn with these eight walking routes that take in a variety of Hertfordshire’s terrains and - most importantly – have a cosy pub along the way

Read more
Tuesday, October 16, 2018

We've selected a variety of spooky activities in the county that are sure to delight the kids

Read more
Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust’s Charlotte Hussey explores the fascinating world of bats and new projects in the county to help conserve these remarkable creatures

Read more
October 2018
Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The People’s Trust for Endangered Species is asking the public to look out for mammals on Hertfordshire’s roads as part of a citizen science project

Read more
September 2018
Tuesday, September 11, 2018

From stately homes to skateparks, we have selected some of the best ideas for things to do in Hertfordshire

Read more
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

The diverse parkland of Pishiobury Park in Sawbridgeworth is undergoing a five-year plan to promote its heritage and enhance its habitats. It makes for a royal day out

Read more
September 2018

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search