Ireland is famous for its love of horses and the thoroughbreds raised on its verdant hills. During the boom years, when high-tech companies flocked to the “Celtic Tiger” and the construction industry overdosed on cheap loans, pet horses became a popular luxury item. Tens of thousands were purchased for anything from steeplechases, hunts or other equestrian events. For many people a horse was a sign of affluence, akin to an expensive car or a boat.
But the financial crisis in 2008 caused the Irish economy to contract by a spectacular 15%. Many of these horses have now been abandoned. Malnurished and without shelter they roam small towns and are often adopted by local youths. Piotr Malecki shot and edited this multimedia.