Unemployed Mother of 11 is Keeping a HorseKeith
An unemployed mother-of-11 for whom a council is building a six-bedroom “eco mansion” is keeping her own horse despite being on benefits.
Heather Frost, 36, bought a grey mare called Annie last year and pays paddock fees, food and vet’s bills monthly.
According to stable workers the horse, which Miss Frost keeps for her 16-year-old daughter Angel, costs about £200 per month to keep.
Miss Frost has refused to comment on the horse, but Angel wrote to a local newspaper to defend her mother.
She wrote: “My mum has nothing to be ashamed about.
“The house we are moving to in Northway is smaller then the one we live in now, so its far from a mansion.”
Her mother said: “I will not talk about my horse or my kids any more.”
Miss Frost has “struggled along” for five years in two houses knocked together for her in Gloucestershire but Tewkesbury Borough Council has sold a plot of land for around £210,000 to Severn Vale Housing, who will build the large-council house for the family.
She first became pregnant at 14, to a 23–year–old boyfriend, who has not been named.
Her children are Sophie, 21, Toby, 19, Megan, 18, Angel, Jay, 14, Chloe, 13, Paige, 12, Emily, 10, Beth, nine, Ruby, seven, and Tilly Frost, two.
She keeps Annie the horse at a paddock around a mile from her current home.
A worker at the paddock, claimed Miss Frost recently negotiated to buy two more horses but the deal fell through.
She currently pays £65-a-month paddock fees but had negotiated a deal last month where she could stable three horses for £175.
The stable worker said Miss Frost bought Annie from a previous owner who also kept the nag at Innsworth Lane.
“They bought the horse about eight months ago,” the paddock worker said. “Horses are expensive, I know, I’ve had them all my life.
“It has breathing difficulties, so the vet has to come out quite often. They must spend at least £200 a month on her.
“They were going to buy two more horses recently, but that deal fell through.
“It’s sickening to think that she can afford what most people would consider a luxury at the expense of the British taxpayer.”
Matthew Sinclair, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance said: “Benefits are there to provide a safety net when people fall on tough times, not fund expensive pets.
“Many families are struggling to pay their daily bills and afford a decent home for their own family, so they will find it staggering if they are paying to keep a horse.
“Welfare should not pay for claimants to enjoy a lifestyle most hard-pressed taxpayers cannot afford themselves.”