Economy Hobbles Horsey Set

Recession reins in discretionary income for horse lovers saddled with boarding costs
By Michael Roston,  Newser User
Posted Dec 14, 2008 5:36 AM CST
Mclain Ward of the United States rides Sapphire and takes out a fence during the equestrian individual Show Jumping competition at the 2008 Olympics.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
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(Newser) – Like Big Brown at the Belmont Stakes, many horse owners are finding it difficult to stay on track, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. With feed and stable costs rising, fewer horse lovers are able to buy new steeds or keep the ones they have. "I've had calls from people who want to give their horses away because they can't afford to keep them over the winter," said a trainer.

While the equestrian idylls for the super-rich continue, modest members of the "horsey set" are struggling with monthly costs of up to $1,000 to keep their rides. Some are benefiting from the downturn, like fox hunters and bargain hunters looking for cheaper horses. But once-robust horse shows put the problem on display. "People have these big rigs and vans, and it's costing them a fortune for diesel," said the trainer.