OUT IN THE FIELD by Annemarie Field (July 13th): Winners and losers - that’s the way life is

JUST when I think I have heard it all, news reaches me that plans for traditional horse drawn carriage rides along Eastbourne seafront and through the town centre have been scrapped because of animal welfare concerns.

Although I do have many happy memories of riding ponies in Princes Park as a child, I am not a great fan of horses: friends of Satan – dangerous at both ends and uncomfortable in the middle.

But the fact is that horses have been used as work animals for thousands of years and been bred for that very purpose.

They were around a very long time before cars too, pulling things outdoors in all sorts of weather.

Animal Aid raised several concerns with Eastbourne Borough Council about the rides including the welfare of the horses and the demands made on them and Eastbourne Borough Council bucked and threw the whole thing out.

What a lot of fuss.

These are animals and I very much doubt that while they’re hauling carriages with people on them, they’re wondering what they’re going to be doing on their days off!

These are animals and the rules are pretty simple: feed it, water it, don’t overwork it and don’t abuse it.

IT’S almost the end of term, the Little Treasures will be off for six weeks (deep joy) and sports days are happening in schools everywhere.

I don’t like sports days, never have and never will.

The thought of entering the ‘Mums’ Race’ fills me with dread – especially because one of the mums at the Little Princess’s school is triathlete Sarah Coope.

But the real reason I would rather eat my own leg when it comes to sports days is that they’re not the same as they used to be any more and they’re now non- competitive.

But why are we trying to hide something like competitiveness from children when it is so important?

Schools may have done away with winners and losers but life has not.

Schools may give children as many times as they want to get the right answers.

But this doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to anything in real life.

Children are going to fail at stuff. That’s life. And it probably doesn’t hurt them to see that it happens to everyone.

WHAT is going on at the Towner Art Gallery? I know I am hardly its biggest fan with its odd sense of ‘art’, but now the gallery is asking visitors to one exhibition to donate £1 - on top of their admission ticket price of £5.50 - to the Towner Summer Appeal.

If that’s not cheeky enough, the gallery is also looking for volunteers to meet and greet visitors, share information on the Towner building and its renowned collection, exhibitions and events for two-and-a-half days a week with NO pay.

Sounds like making Jesus carry his own cross...