Horse trekking centre closes because kids and adults too fat to ride the horses

Owner Dee Dee Wilkinson blamed the obesity epidemic after recently turning away a 12st 13-year-old and a 5ft woman of 16st.

Mrs Wilkinson said: “Over the last seven years obesity has become a big issue. It’s a welfare issue for the horses and a safety issue, not just for the horse but for the person.

“They have no core strength and can’t balance themselves properly and they’re riding a live animal at the end of the day. It’s both adults and children.”

She added: “The horses are at an age where they need replacing and getting good replacements can be difficult.

“We are finding increasingly people are getting heavier, so we are unable to let them ride as it isn’t fair on the horses.”

Latest government figures show one in five children are obese by the time they are 11, rising to one in four for adults.

Mrs Wilkinson, who runs Babeny Farm on Dartmoor with husband Darren, also blamed rising insurance costs and restriction on when families can take holidays for closing the centre next September.

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