French town sells off abandoned Emirati horses
A small French town is preparing to sell off five thoroughbred Arabian horses that were abandoned and ran wild after an Emirati landowner disappeared, the local mayor said.
Agen - A small French town is preparing to sell off five thoroughbred Arabian horses that were abandoned and ran wild after an Emirati landowner disappeared, the local mayor said.
Andre Garros, mayor of the southwestern town of Astaffort, said a "very discreet" Emirati man bought an estate and planning permission to build a house three years ago, but he has not been seen for months.
"The horses were in a paddock that wasn't being maintained. They ended up escaping and running wild," he said, adding that they had damaged neighbours' crops and vehicles and become skittish and aggressive.
At first there were only three horses, but two foals were born before a local horse expert managed to calm them and town authorities were forced to take charge of stabling and caring for them.
"Between the damage they've done, insurance, DNA tests, legal bills and their upkeep we think they've cost us EUR 15,000 (USD 22,000)," said Garros, explaining why the animals will have to be auctioned.
"They're from good stock. They're pure blood Arab horses. We've had a lot of calls about them," he said, adding the sale would take place in December.
In addition to the horses, two estates abandoned by Emirati citizens in the Astaffort commune are also on the market.
The United Arab Emirates were in recent years one of the world's most spectacular economic success stories, but a fall in the world oil price and the global economic crunch have hit some investors there hard.