CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Is a private riding school being lined up for part of Kentish Town City Farm site?

Veteran horse Murphy faces uncertain future

03 June, 2019 — By Tom Foot

MURPHY, a popular horse at Kentish Town City Farm for 22 years, is facing an uncertain future.

The board of trustees is considering setting up a private riding school on the farm’s land in Cressfield Close. It would probably bring in its own horses. Staff have been told they are “at risk” of redundancy under a new budget. The board claims the farm cannot be sustained in its current form.

Farm staff fear the riding school idea would spell the end for Murphy, who has been at the farm since 1997, and his pals Jester, 21, and Champion, 18. They say Murphy – who is used to help disabled people and children – remains in rude health despite his age.

Farm worker Mel Chamberlain said: “Murphy is one of those cobs where you are shocked by his age as he does not look or act it. He appears free of the common geriatric worries of poor dentition or arthritis leading to lameness. His is likely due to his excellent management and his low-level daily exercise routine that keeps him supple. The farm animals each have a welfare plan and set of metrics they must meet yearly in order to continue their service. I am pleased that Murphy is still ticking the boxes.”

The New Journal understands the farm board, working with the council, has approached private riding schools about taking over the space in the past weeks.

The board is expected to inform staff of its final redundancy proposal this week.

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