An East Sussex horse owner has been banned from keeping horses and ordered to pay £10,000 after admitting to “prolonged neglect”.
An East Sussex horse owner has been banned from keeping horses and ordered to pay £10,000 after admitting to “prolonged neglect”. One horse’s feet became so long they grew back on themselves, in what has been described as the “worst case ever seen”.
World Horse Welfare field officer Ted Barnes and an RSPCA inspector were called out to the six year old black mare called Florence in November 2009. After yesterday’s hearing (October 20) Mr Barnes said neither he, nor the veterinary surgeons who attended, had ever seen anything like it before.
Jane Sandys from Plumpton Green, Lewes, pleaded guilty to three charges under the 2006 Animal Welfare Act at Hayward’s Heath Magistrates Court. She admitted causing suffering to Florence and of action likely to cause suffering to two other horses.
As a result of the case, brought by the RSPCA, Sandys was:
- banned from keeping horses for 10 years, and
- ordered to pay almost £10,000 in costs and compensation (£6,070.05 in costs and £3,875.91 in compensation.)
When Mr Barnes and the RSPCA inspector saw Florence she was barely able to walk. A veterinary surgeon who examined her decided that so much damage had been done that she could not be saved, and she was put to sleep.
Two other horses in the case, an elderly bay mare and a chestnut gelding were signed over to the care of World Horse Welfare and taken to its farm in Norfolk along with another horse, which was not part of the prosecution. The chestnut gelding has since been put to sleep.
Magistrates watched part of a video of Florence after she had been removed. They heard veterinary evidence that the horse’s feet had been in a bad state for most of her life.
Passing sentence they told Sandys that the “prolonged neglect” which she had inflicted on Florence demanded sentencing at the upper limit because of its seriousness. They also ordered that Sandys’ six remaining horses should be removed from her possession.
After the hearing Mr Barnes said: “I have found this case extremely upsetting. Years of experience haven’t hardened me to this prolonged neglect to Florence. This horse did not deserve to live most of her life with her feet in this condition. This is something I have never seen before, and neither had the veterinary surgeon who dealt with it.”