Blackstone Farm, home to the Blackstone Clydesdale heavy horses, have announced that they’re closing the fundraiser that has been keeping them afloat.

They raised over £16,000 through their JustGiving page but are set to stop their appeal, saying that whilst they are extremely grateful for all the money that has come in, they can’t keep asking the same people to help them with funds.

Magi Duncan who owns the business with her partner John, said: “ We closed the fundraiser yesterday (July 13) because our followers are paying for our survival. People only have so much money and we can’t expect the same people to keep supporting us every time.

“The fundraiser did remarkably well and we’re so grateful for that. The money we have received so far is wonderful and we would not be here without all those donations.”

They have been trying to source funds from elsewhere but were recently unsuccessful in an application to the Scottish Government for grant money, which has been paid out to other hospitality businesses dealing with the fallout of the pandemic.

They were rejected because they were not deemed a hospitality business, yet the Clydesdale horses bring in hundreds of tourists to the area every year, with people coming from far and wide to ride these unique creatures.

Owner Magi believes they should be eligible for the hospitality grant due to their contribution to tourism.

This aspect of their business is not likely to run again until the Scottish Government relaxes rules on physical distancing as lots of close assistance is needed to get riders on and off the horses and into stirrups.

Whilst recognising that “Blackstone Clydesdales [is] a tourism asset which greatly enhances Ayrshire’s offer as a tourism destination,” East Ayrshire Council say they are limited in their capacity to assist

David McDowall, interim head of planning and economic development says that their hands are tied as the hospitality grant scheme “is not within the Council’s jurisdiction.”

He add that “our Business Support Team... will continue to work with the business through this recovery provide a range of targeted support initially around digital marketing and online promotion.”