Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Did horses used to live longer?

Saw this today Irish draught Shayne, 51, put to sleep at Essex sanctuary.

It reminded me of an eighteenth century book on horses I read a while ago, which said that the average age a horse lived to was 51. At the time I made note of this, but didn't take it as fact - could be a misprint, or the author could be very poor at maths, or just mistaken :-)

The above article mentions that the oldest horse ever recorded was born in 1760, and lived to be 62!

Horses are getting more athletic, faster, 'better' in many ways (apparently), and the potential to treat their ailments and give them the care they need for a long and healthy life has vastly improved since 1760. So it seems very sad to me that in the last 200 years or so, no horse has managed to live as long as 'Old Billy', 1760 - 1822.

Although the thought of having Elvis around for the next 50 odd years...

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