LETTER: Home for horses at expense of farmland

YOUR article on July 9 concerning Nick Clarke’s plans for an equestrian centre near Easebourne prompts me to remind readers that while the world faces a challenge to feed (and house) its population, half of West Sussex that was once productive farmland is now a comfy home to thousands of well-nourished horses.

Horses are not farming, they are pets, and fall entirely within the same category as golf; sport and leisure.

Polo is not a rural way of life, though mucking-out might be. The employment they provide is no more than that provided by mixed farming.

A horse produces similar amounts of greenhouse gases in the form of methane as a small car, since it does so all day and half the night, 24/7.

While your car is parked it produces none at all.

Horses also require haylage, cut and baled by diesel tractors, transported in diesel trucks to and from events, and some are flown around the world in jet aircraft. They are rich people’s toys.

There is really very little to recommend a horse to the environment, and it’s a shame we don’t eat them really.

Stephen Saunders

Bowley Farm,