Horses previously grazing on the hillside below St Aidan’s College have been moved to another location due to safety concerns.
The University said the decision was taken due to concerns that the horses would escape, raising safety concerns for both them and pedestrians. The horses had managed to escape at least twice in the last academic year.
Witnesses told Palatinate that RSPCA vans were seen near St Mary’s on the 30th June, with what were believed to be vets heading for the field between St Mary’s and St Aidan’s where horses were kept. The field, which is now empty, is owned by the University.
Professor Maggi Dawn, Principal of St Mary’s College, told Palatinate: “Many of our students have enjoyed seeing the horses that were allowed to graze on the field between St Mary’s and St Aidan’s College.”
“Unfortunately, the horses did escape several times, so out of concern both for the welfare of the animals and for potential accidents and harm to motorists and pedestrians, we contacted the owner of the horses to resolve the situation. The horses have now been moved to another location.”
Lilith Foster-Collins, a second-year at St Mary’s, told Palatinate: “The horses are a lovely addition to Mary’s and Aidan’s, and it will be disappointing not to be able to visit them again”.
Video footage from October seen by Palatinate shows one of the horses trotting across the forecourt of St Mary’s College. More recent photos from late May, when the horses escaped again, show one of them eating grass by the roadside close to the roundabout near Prebends Bridge.
Image: Rising Fan via Flickr