Save our Shires (SOS). Restore Shire Horses to Chawton House.
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The Trustees of the Chawton House Library (CHL) charity recently decided to close the Estate's stables, make the staff redundant and evict their four iconic Shire Horses (Royston; Speedy; Isaac & Summer). James McBain, CHL's Chief Operating Officer, justified the decision by stating that the horses "were not economically viable & not very robust." In making their decision the Trustees treated the local village community with disdain and made no public statement until the news was disclosed via a social media backlash.
We ask that you sign this petition to restore Shire Horses to an Estate which is supposed to represent a working 18th century English farm. This Estate was once owned by Jane Austen's brother and she was a frequent visitor as her own house is located in the village. The Charity's Trustees have violated one of their guiding principles in disposing of their horses. Shires were the tractors and combine harvesters of 18th agriculture. In early February 2018 the gravity of the Trustees decision became tragically apparent when Speedy, an adorable 15 year old Clydesdale died subsequent to his enforced 're-homing'.
In memory of Speedy's avoidable death we appeal to you not to donate to CHL's fund-raising appeals and to boycott the House as a tourist destination until the Trustees reverse their decision and restore Shire Horses to their rightful domain.
Thank you on behalf of CHL's (remaining) former Shires
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