Shayne - World’s oldest horse 2012

Shayne - World’s oldest horse 2012

This weary thoroughbred has been hailed the world's oldest horse — whose leisurely life has allowed him to live to the age of 51.

Shayne, a liver chestnut Irish Draught cross, has spent a lifetime in a private stables and has only been ridden occasionally.

As a result he is still happily trotting around his paddock and in better shape than many of his stablemates — despite being 20 to 30 years older than all of them.

Bizarrely, the elderly nag lives in the same Essex town as the world's oldest dog — a 24-year-old terrier-whippet cross called Pip.

Shayne is believed to have inherited the title of the world's oldest living horse following the death of the previous holder in 2004.

The 15 hands gelding is now enjoying a laid-back retirement with four meals a day at the 40-acre Remus Memorial Horse Sanctuary in Brentwood.

Sanctuary founder Sue Burton said: "We get people who rescue a horse and they say it is in its 30s and then it knocks them for six when we say we have one in its 50s.

"Shayne is a really good boy. He is still very active — sometimes we forget how old he is.

"I guess his secret to a long life is taking it easy in his old age and enjoying his retirement."

Shayne was brought to the Remus Memorial Horse Sanctuary in April 2007 after spending many happy years with his previous owner in Chingford, Essex.

He is fed a high-calorie diet consisting of fibre, alfalfa nuts, sugar beet and chaff mixed together and he is also partial to a bit of cabbage to help keep his weight at 480kg.

Despite suffering from some mild arthritis, he is in good health.

The previous title of oldest living horse in the world was held by Welsh/Arab steed Badger, from Pembrokeshire, Wales, who died aged 51, in in 2004.

Shayne does not have a birth certificate but they were given his birth date by his previous owner and have since verified his age with medical checks.

Sue added: "Fifteen used to be regarded as old for horses when I started working with them, but research into medicines means they can live much longer now.

"The previous owner brought Shayne to the sanctuary after her other horse died.

"Shayne does not have a birth certificate so we are going by what his previous owner told us — but it all adds up."

Remarkably, Shayne lives in the same town as Pip, the 24-year-old terrier-whippet cross, who was named the world's oldest dog in December.

Shayne, who stands at 15 hands and weighs 480kg, enjoys four meals and around four or five hours outdoors every day.

His high-calorie diet consists of fibre, alfalfa nuts, sugar beet and chaff mixed together, although he is also partial to a bit of cabbage now and again.

Looking up at Shayne, Vicky said: "I think he is lovely and he has a lot of character.

"He is a bit nervous but he is quite striking too.

"If you see him out in the field he still trots around very elegantly."

Sanctuary founder Sue Burton added: "We are extremely proud of our work with elderly horses and Shayne is an example of the work that we do allowing these animals to live their lives out in happy retirement."

Should Shayne indeed be found to be the oldest horse on the planet, he is unlikely to get in the official records because his birth certificate cannot be traced.
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