24 Jun, 2019 @ 10:56
1 min read

British-run riding stables faces ‘scam’ eviction after rescuing dozens of horses for 13 years on Spain’s Costa Blanca

AN expat riding stables has been left with just four weeks to rehouse 11 horses and three dogs.

The British owners of Hipica Ondara have been handed an eviction order demanding they vacate by July 8.

David Hayter and daughter Jodie Darrick-Hayter, 37, were handed the notice by Denia Court, after the landowner accused them of attempting to ‘build houses’ without her permission.

The pair – who have rented the land for 13 years – insist this is totally untrue and the real reason is she wants to sell the land to developers.

‘I WILL GET ARRESTED’: David and Jodie with one of 11 horses at the Hipica Ondara

The pair, who have rescued over 70 horses since setting up in 2006, have discovered the Spanish owner has already listed the 13,000m2 plot on website Idealista for €230,000.

“She could have at least given us a year’s warning to move,” Hayter, 73 who has cancer, told the Olive Press.

“Now I am likely to get arrested on July 8 because there is no way we can legally move the horses without piles of paperwork before then.”

He added that the owner is ‘falsely listing’ the land for sale as urbanizable, or ‘developable’, which Ondara town hall confirmed is not the case.

“The land is rustic land. At best a purchaser could build a small bungalow – but certainly nothing more,” the councillor for public services, Pere Picornell, told the Olive Press.

“It looks a bit like a scam.”

The Hayters insisted they had used up ‘every penny’ they own during their 13-year tenancy at the riding stables, with many horses rescued ‘literally at death’s door’.

RESCUE: David with Spain’s only registered Romanian sheepdog, who was saved from owners who shut him indoors for two years

They have invested €130,000 in savings for the animals and €150,000 on improving the property, not to mention €130,000 in rent.

“The horses have a better wardrobe than I do,” said Jodie, who holds British Horse Society qualifications, including in veterinary medicine.

“We’ve even paid up to €5,000 for a horse’s medical bills, and he still died in hospital.”

She continued: “We’ve been here seven days a week, 365 days a year caring for abandoned horses.

“All the owner sees in us is money, but to us this is our whole lives.”

The landowner did not reply to repeated requests for comment.

Joshua Parfitt

Joshua James Parfitt is the Costa Blanca correspondent for the Olive Press. He holds a gold-standard NCTJ in multimedia journalism from the award-winning News Associates in Twickenham. His work has been published in the Sunday Times, Esquire, the Mail on Sunday, the Daily Mail, the Sun, the Sun on Sunday, the Mirror, among others. He has appeared on BBC Breakfast to discuss devastating flooding in Spain, as well as making appearances on BBC and LBC radio stations.

Contact me now: [email protected] or call +44 07960046259. Twitter: @jjparfitt

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