As a former jockey I have been lucky enough to ride horses around Cheltenham, Kempton, Hexham and beyond, over big fences and long distances. I have schooled upsides Mick Fitzgerald and Tony McCoy in Lambourn and loved every second of my partnership with these wonderful animals.
Like everyone I have enjoyed the jokes these last few days ["I put £5 each way on my lasagne"] but the issue of confidence and sourcing is of paramount importance.
Cutting back on price, destroying traditional supply chains, and not buying locally will always put pressure on the sanctity of the food chain from animal to plate.
That is why you should always support local butchers and local markets. In Hexham, Corbridge or Ponteland the butchers know every farmer they have bought off, the animal they have killed and the safety and quality of the meat they are selling. The full facts will become known this week but I have total confidence in our local butchers. My hope is that they will do better because of this scandal.
If criminals have been substituting horse for beef in some frozen foods then I hope they go to jail. But purchasers of the big supermarket companies / supermarket suppliers must also look to the safety of their supply chains and lessons need to be learnt.
As a foot note Boris, as always, has the best and last word: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/9861727/They-love-horse-meat-in-France-so-why-do-we-turn-our-noses-up.html