#TheList horse breeder Nicola Jane Haworth, born 4 February 1961, of The Sycamores, Jubilee Lane, Marton, Blackpool FY5 4ER – kept horses in such squalor that 11 had to be put down
Haworth was convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to 24 horses and failing to meet the needs of 31 horses.
Carmel Wilde, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said that the charity’s inspectors had found the animals living in dilapidated stables – some without doors or missing wooden panels.
The horses’ bedding was covered in months of urine and droppings, the court heard.
Ms Wilde added: “The evidence shows the conditions were horrendous. Six animals were such an appalling condition they had to be put to sleep by the vet immediately.
“Five more were euthanased later. Others have behaviour problems and will never be ridden as they are dangerous.
“These were the worst conditions the vets and RSPCA inspectors have ever seen. Basics tasks were not carried out for a prolonged time. It was neglect.”
Some of the horses’ hooves were so overgrown the animals could hardly move because they were in so much pain, the court was told.
There was evidence that some had not been out of their stables for some time to use nearby sand and grass paddocks.
The remaining 20 horses were taken away for care and re-homing.
Writing about the case, which he said was the culmination of over 10 months of hard work and dedication by the RSPCA, World Horse Welfare, HAPPA, Lancashire Constabulary and others, RSPCA inspector Carl Larsson said:
In September 2018 a magistrates warrant was executed and I walked onto a stable yard in Blackpool. I was horrified by the scale and level of suffering one individual could cause to so many horses.
I saw 31 horses in stables which had not had the doors opened in months. Dirty bedding was stacked half way up the doors. Once opened they wouldn’t close again because months worth of muck spilled out.
There were horses with such crippling lameness from overgrown hooves that their legs were shaking with pain. They were unable to step down off the pile of muck out of their stables. One collapsed as it reluctantly made the step off.
Of these horses 6 were immediately euthanised on veterinary advice to end their suffering. Since then a further 5 have been euthanised on welfare grounds. Despite reports to the contrary none of the horses were killed because the RSPCA didn’t know how to handle them. Every decision to euthanise was made on Veterinary advice using police powers.
Since that time the individual involved has offered no defence for her deplorable actions. She actually hasn’t turned up to court yet. Instead she has taken to the internet and launched a smear campaign against the RSPCA and more specifically myself.
I personally will never lose any sleep over what she or her friends may think of me however I will always defend my charity!
Unfortunately, until this point I have been unable to respond to posts on forums, Facebook or wherever else lies have been spread due to the matter being an active case.
However with today’s verdict I can now say that the conditions at this yard were the most horrendous I have ever seen in my time investigating animal cruelty. Furthermore the severe and obvious pain visible in many of these horses was sickening.
Today the overwhelming evidence was presented to a District Judge who had no hesitation in find the defendant guilty on all charges.
Sentencing: £4,000 in legal costs; six-month curfew. Banned from keeping animals for 10 years.