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Spain horses abandoned 1

Spain horses abandoned 1

A picture taken on March 5, 2013 shows Virginia Solera at her shelter the Association CyD Santamaria in Alhaurin el Grande, near Malaga. In Spain's boom years, they were a rich family's status symbol: pet horses to ride at the weekend. Now abandoned in the crisis, they are plodding in their tens of thousands to the slaughterhouse. At the end of a bumpy country lane in southern Andalucia, Spain's farming and horse-rearing heartland, Virginia Solera helps run a shelter for the luckier cast-offs -- victims, along with millions of citizens, of Spain's abrupt economic downturn.

JORGE GUERRERO