Learning English - Words in the News
07 November, 2008 - Published 13:43 GMT
Horse owners hit by downturn
In the UK, a charity that houses unwanted horses says it is being inundated with calls from equestrians who can no longer afford to keep their horses. The Horse Trust has received 640 requests to retire horses in the past month. Mark Worthington reports:
Far from the city, an empty paddock and nothing but memories. After 15 years Shelagh Ball was forced to say goodbye to her beloved horse. This is what happens when the downturn starts to bite.
Shelagh isn't alone. Horse charities say record numbers are struggling to pay the bills. First came huge rises in costs - the price of feed doubled. Now there is less money around to pay for it all, and that's hitting businesses too. Garron Baines had already given up one horse through sickness. Now he's shutting down his horse-trekking company, meaning six more need new homes.
It all means more work for those who care for unwanted animals. But charities fear this is only the beginning and that donations may begin to dry up just as huge numbers of horses need their help.
Mark Worthington, BBC
the downturn starts to bite
Solely and purely
struggling to pay
fallen off the cliff
donations may begin to dry up
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