A CIRCUS horsewoman has hit out at claims that her animals are not well treated.

Paulo’s Circus Americano has been on Portland for over a week now with acts like the trapeze, BMX bike riding and the Wheel of Death delighting crowds.

But horsewoman Amanda Sandow, 46, was upset after a comment appeared on the circus Facebook page concerned for the welfare of the horse and Shetland pony used in the show.

The comments said that the writer had been ‘disappointed and disgusted’ to see that live animals were being used in the show and would be boycotting the circus and perhaps holding a peaceful protest outside.

The Facebook post also raised concerns for the animal’s welfare when travelling around the country.

Mrs Sandow has hit out at the claims. She keeps Arab horse Steel and Shetland pony Frosty and uses them in one of her circus acts, where they trot round the ring and at one point stand on tubs.

Jack Russell Max also gets in on the act and rides on Frosty’s back.

She said: “My horses are like my children, they are my life in the circus world. It’s just absolutely ridiculous.”

She said that Frosty and Steel were allowed out to graze and only stabled while the circus was on.

She said: “What about show jumping – it’s far more difficult than what my horses do in the show. For five minutes they trot round the ring.”

She added: “I spend most of the day with them. I get up at 8am to exercise them, and wash them for the show.

“Then they are on for five minutes and they go back into the stables. After the show they get more exercise and their food.”

Mrs Sandow said that when the circus relocated, her horses were moved last and unloaded first. Then they are let out to graze and exercise at the new circus site.

Mrs Sandow said her horses had never shown any behaviour that showed they were distressed.

She said: “It makes me mad. I don’t think people understand that this is our life.”

She added: “The children are so delighted to see Frosty and Steel when they come into the ring. I love my animals and want to do what’s best for them and I like to show them off.”

• A SPOKESMAN from Dorset Police said: “We had a report from a member of staff at the circus saying a member of the public had posted comments on the Facebook wall, suggesting there would be a peaceful protest.

“Officers attended and offered reassurance to the staff. They didn’t have any worries or concerns for the horses. There was nothing to cause any concern.”