Dartnall unhappy over beach ban

  • Last Updated: January 24 2013, 16:32 GMT

Victor Dartnall has expressed his disappointment after being told he can no longer use the beach at Woolacombe Bay to exercise his horses.

Dartnall: Anger over beach threat

The trainer is based near Barnstaple in Devon and has used the beach to train his horses for 18 years, but says he has been threatened with an injunction if he continues to do so.

He told www.victordartnallracing.com: "Woolacombe Bay is a huge beach with an enormous amount of space. It's three miles long and with a great depth to it too. In the winter, particularly during the week, it's virtually empty with just a handful of walkers and a few dogs.

"It's wonderful for the horses to go to the beach. They think its marvellous and it really cheers them up. And the locals have always loved us going there too. They'll come up and take a real interest in the horses.

"However, on Tuesday, we were told we are no longer welcome to take our horses there, and if we did so again we would have a court injunction served against us.

"I feel this is quite a drastic action to take against a key local employer in North Devon trying, like the leaseholders, to make a living and continue employing local people during the ongoing downturn in the economic climate.

"We've been going there since 1995, but the current leaseholders clearly don't like horses and they don't want us there.

"There are other beaches we can go to in North Devon, but the beauty of Woolacombe is the amount of space, and the fact you can canter for long stretches without interfering with anyone else who might be walking there."

Dartnall's string recently returned to action after a bout of equine herpes forced his yard to shut down for a four-week period from mid-November.

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