#TheList Chelsea J France, born c. 1995, of Healey Street, Batley WF17 8BZ – allowed her rescue pony’s hooves to become painfully overgrown
France pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.
The court heard that France’s pony – a grey Welsh mare named Rosie – suffered pain and discomfort over a four month period.
France described Rosie as ‘feral’ and said it was impossible to catch her to trim her hooves.
The offence occurred between April and August 2018 while Rosie was being kept in fields off Portal Crescent in Mirfield.
Andrew Davidson, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, said that a charity inspector visited the area on August 14, 2018, and could clearly see that Rosie’s hooves were significantly overgrown.
He said: “These would have caused discomfort and suffering and would have taken some considerable time to get to that state.”
The RSPCA inspector spoke to members of the public who said that a young woman attended infrequently but hadn’t done anything about the pony’s feet.
A vet examined the pony and confirmed that she would have been suffering.
France arrived and said that she had owned Rosie since a traveller dropped her off with her in November 2017.
Mr Davidson said: “She was in a poor condition then and her feet needed to be trimmed.
“She described her temperament as nervous and difficult to handle.
“After Christmas she started trying to catch Rosie but this was impossible due to her nervousness.”
France said she then arranged for a farrier to come and cut Rosie’s hooves but, again, she couldn’t be caught.
Mr Davidson told magistrates that while it did take the RSPCA and the vet some effort to get to her, they were able to do so the same afternoon.
He said of France: “It’s well-intentioned but not wholly competent care.”
Lesley Cowling, mitigating, said that her client immediately agreed to sign Rosie over the RSPCA.
Miss Cowling said: “She bought Rosie off Facebook from an establishment closed down because of animal abuse and cruelty.
“She felt sorry for her and the thought of her being put to sleep made her quite upset.
“When she first got Rosie she was quite underweight and her feet did need trimming but not to this extent.
“She was able to lift her health through diet and fresh water and acknowledges that Rosie was nervous from the start.
“She tried to get a farrier out to trim her hooves but couldn’t catch her. She was almost feral and didn’t want anyone near her.
“Miss France appreciates she should have contacted a vet sooner but felt she should give her a bit of time to get used to people.
“She was aware her hooves were still growing and causing discomfort. She considered having her darted but felt that was more extreme and not necessary.”
Sentencing: banned from keeping all equines for a year.