'World's oldest horse' dies aged 50 at Essex sanctuary
A horse believed by its owners to be the oldest in the world has died at the animal sanctuary which took it in after years of neglect.
Remus Horse Sanctuary in Ingatestone, Essex, said Orchid had been "badly beaten and starved of food" before it was rescued by the shelter.
Founder Sue Burton said the mare gained weight and strength within weeks of its arrival in June 2014.
Orchid had to be put down after it was unable to recover from a bout of colic.
Ms Burton said it was a "devastating decision" but "we have to do what is right for the animals".
Orchid had been used as a brood mare and "was discarded when her usefulness ended," according to the shelter.
Dr Jo Ireland, equine veterinary researcher at the Animal Health Trust in Newmarket in Suffolk, said: "Estimates in the UK suggest that only 2% of our equine population are over the age of 30 years, so up to 50 years of age is considered very old and would definitely be equivalent to a 'super centenarian' in human terms."