ONE of the abandoned horses which was dumped close to a Hampshire golf club has died.

As reported in the Chronicle, six horses had been running wild at and near Alresford Golf Club near since December.

Now efforts have been stepped up to get the horses moved after concerns for their welfare.

The horses had not been seen at the club since the Chronicle reported the story last month, and are currently in a field close to the golf course.

If the horses were to stay on the golf course for 96 hours the club could claim ownership and then sell them, have them moved or destroyed.

However, the club say they do not have the means to take responsibility for the horses.

Under law if a horse is abandoned on private land the landowner must notify the police and horse owner.

If the horse stays on the land for four days and the owner does not claim ownership of the horse in this time, the land owner can then choose to either sell, rehome or kill the horse.

It is understood that the horses are currently on a field at Appledown which is owned by Southern Water.

One worried local resident, Jenna Shaw, of Cheriton, fears that not enough is being done to help the horses who could have serious medical issues.

She said: "All I know is that a youngster has died and people suspect that it was worms.

"There have been whispers that there were two or three dodgy men looking at the one that died, but there's rumours that a charity might round them up.

"Time is running out. If they are all infested with worms then the clock is running out for all of them."

Alresford Golf Club was asked for an update. Manager Steve Privett said: "I have not got a clue - I am afraid I do not know what is happening with them."

A spokeswoman for Hampshire police said the force did put police tape around the deceased horse to make people aware of it but insisted the responsibility lies with the landowner.

Southern Water say they are trying to relocate the horses and are working closely with the RSPCA and the police.

A spokeswoman for Southern Water said: “We are aware of the situation regarding a number of horses fly-grazing on our land at our New Alresford Wastewater Treatment Works in Hampshire.

“We thank everyone who has contacted us about this issue and would like to assure you that our priority is to ensure the safety and welfare of the horses.

"We are in the process of trying to arrange for the horses to be relocated and are working closely with the RSPCA and the police.”