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WINOL: Horse owners hit by ‘devestating’ disease

I got on a horse to tell you why those sycamore helicopters aren’t so fun and the real cost of finding them in your field. International story taken and turned local, heartbreaking case study of a New Forest riding stables.

Hampshire horse owners are on high alert as the number of  infected horses has risen yet again this week.

Sycamore helicopter seeds contain harmful toxins linked to atypical myopathy, a disease that causes heart and lung failure, wasting of muscle and digestive problems.

Owners have been warned by equine vets of potential death if the seeds are swallowed, with just a 20% chance of the horse surviving.

Burley Manor Riding Stables owner, Sharon Bayliss, lost two horses to the disease last year. She said:”It’s devastating,” adding: “I won’t turn any other horses out there because I would then feel very much responsible for that.”

Stable Close Equine Vet Malcolm Morley said: “It’s definitely a risk,” and: “it’s really vital that they understand it.”

Scientists at Belgian university Université de Liège are researching the disease and urging horse owners to record all cases.

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