Category Archives: horses and ponies

Clifton, Nottingham: Amelia Mercer

#TheList Amelia Mercer, born 07/05/1988, of Conifer Crescent, Clifton, Nottingham NG11 – banned from keeping equines for life after death of three horses she bought from a traveller

Amelia Mercer from Clifton, Nottingham, UK, and the three ponies who sadly died while under her care
Amelia Mercer and the three ponies who died while under her care

Mercer pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to two horses between February 1 and 7; and one charge of failing to ensure proper diet or environment, protection from pain or disease.

The RSPCA seized the animals and found them so sick that a vet recommended they should be put down, a court heard.

One died before it could be euthanised and the other two were destroyed, after being taken from her land in Gotham in February.

Rory Macmillan, mitigating, told the court that his client was visited on February 1, 2019, by a man with some horses in a vehicle.

“A person who appeared to be a traveller said they had a small grey. She agreed to pay £200.

“She saw it from the front end and it looked all right. They said they had two other horses she could have free. She gave them £100, only seeing their heads and necks in a van.

“From the moment she saw them, particularly the two additional ones, she saw they were in a very bad state, very thin.

“They looked as if they were starving. Their bones were jutting out and if she had seen them, she would not have taken them on.

“The traveller very quickly left,” said Mr Macmillan.

The horses had no names. She gave them drink and a little food, realising that overfeeding might make them ill.

Mr Macmillan said that Mercer had severe health problems and added: “She has always been interested in horses and has always tried to help them. She is not a bad person.”

Richard Purchase, for the RSPCA, said that Mercer had been warned previously about the condition of other horses she had kept.

When inspector Sarah Gardiner called, she felt that the horses were suffering and were being kept in poor conditions.

A vet visited and recommended that all three horses should be put down. One died from salmonella poisoning before this could happen.

“They were not given a proper suitable diet and were not in a suitable environment. There was no protection from the weather.

“Mercer was interviewed and said she bought them a week before from a traveller and that they were already in this terrible state,” said Mr Purchase.

He said that Mercer had no previous convictions and has other pets which do not create concerns.

“Clearly she is unsuitable to own horses,” added Mr Purchase.

Sentencing: ordered to pay £230 for fines and charges and £600 towards the RSPCA’s. Lifelong ban on keeping horses or ponies.

NottinghamshireLive

Blackpool, Lancashire: Nikki Haworth T/A Haworth Arabian Stud

#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

Horse abuser Nikki Haworth from Blackpool, Lancashire, UK.
Breeder Nikki Haworth kept her horses in such squalor that several of them had to be put down
A total of 31 horses were being kept in terrible conditions by their uncaring owner, breeder Nikki Haworth of Marton in Blackpool
A total of 31 horses were being kept in terrible conditions by their heartless owner

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.

A total of 31 horses were being kept in terrible conditions by their uncaring owner, breeder Nikki Haworth of Marton in Blackpool
RSPCA officials found the horses in dilapidated mud-caked stables that had not had their doors opened in months.

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.

A total of 31 horses were being kept in terrible conditions by their uncaring owner, breeder Nikki Haworth of Marton in Blackpool

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.

A total of 31 horses were being kept in terrible conditions by their uncaring owner, breeder Nikki Haworth of Marton in Blackpool

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.

BBC News
Blackpool Gazette

Helsby, Cheshire: Shirley Miller

#TheList Shirley Miller, born c. 1960, of Swireford Road, Helsby WA6 9BA – let her horse suffer after refusing to get him treatment for cancer

RSPCA said that Shirley Miller's cancer-ridden 23-year-old horse Bradley had suffered for at least 12 months.
RSPCA said that Shirley Miller’s cancer-ridden 23-year-old horse Bradley had suffered for at least 12 months.

At a three-day trial, Miller was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to a 23-year-old horse called Bradley.

The court heard how the horse had a large tumour on his penis which she failed to seek veterinary attention for – and a veterinary witness believed he was left untreated for 12 to 18 months.

Bradley’s suffering was noticed on the day that Miller had loaned him to a woman to be his new owner in August 2018.

The new owner realised immediately there was something wrong with the horse and a vet attended.

The vet advised the new owner to contact the RSPCA and Inspector Leanne Cragg was sent to investigate on August 15.

Leanne said the vet found the cancerous tumour to be 10cm long and 8cm wide.

The tumour had been left untreated for so long that maggots were also visible. The vet said he believed Bradley had been left untreated for between 12 to 18 months and the tumour was inoperable.

Miller had denied causing unnecessary suffering by failing to seek veterinary attention and said she checked the horses daily but had no idea that Bradley had any health issues.

Leanne said: “Poor Bradley must have lived in agony for at least 12 months – even urinating would have caused him horrendous pain.

“The court was of the view that any reliable and competent owner would have noticed the suffering.

“It was clear he was in discomfort and there was a horrendous smell caused by tumour and maggots had infested it, which must have been almost unbearable for him.

“After hearing from expert veterinary witnesses the district judge was satisfied Miller would have known about the health issue.”

Bradley was seized by the RSPCA and was cared for by his new owner until a vet decided in October he was suffering so much the kindest thing would be to put him to sleep.

Sentencing: ordered to pay £9,850 costs and a £1,500 fine. Banned from keeping equines for just three years (suspended for six weeks so that she can make arrangements for eight other horses currently in her care).

Horse and Hound
CheshireLive

Tycroes, Ammanford, Wales: Nigel Ward

#TheList Nigel Jeremy Nicholas Ward, born c. 1957, of Ceidrim Court Farm, Penygarn Road, Ammanford SA19 3PH – for cruelty offences involving three horses, one of which died

One of the three horses mistreated by Nigel Ward of Tycroes, Ammanford

Ward admitted one offence of causing unnecessary suffering to three horses by failing to address their poor condition.

The court heard that back in January 2019, in the Mountain Road area of Glanaman, concerns were raised about the welfare of three horses, with the defendant causing unnecessary suffering to them by failing to adequately explore and address their poor condition.

RSPCA inspector Keith Hogben said: “It was very clear that these three horses’ needs were not being met.

“They were in a poor condition and were noticeably thin.

“The field they were being kept in was totally unsuitable and they were very exposed from the mountain side.”

The three horses were seen by a specialist vet at the location.

Despite remaining under the care of the vet, one of the horses, a tri-coloured horse, was unable to be saved and died.

The court heard in mitigation that the horses had had foals which caused a drop in their condition and the defendant thought the field would be sufficient for them.

He admitted this had been a bad decision and also accepted misjudging the weather.

The court also heard that he attended every day but after 14 days it became clear that they were losing condition.

The court heard that since the incident, Ward has been able to rehome half of the horses which were in his care.

Sentencing; 24-month community order with 25-day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement. Total of £607 fine and costs. Deprivation order on one horse. No ban.

South Wales Guardian

Cosham, Portsmouth: Deborah Hunt

#TheList Deborah Jane Hunt, born 1960, of Holbeach Close, Cosham, Portsmouth PO6 3LD – left her horses with dirty water and no food

Horse abuser Deborah Jane Hunt of Cosham in Portsmouth kept two horses in filthy conditions with no food or clean water
Horse abuser Deborah Jane Hunt of Cosham in Portsmouth kept two horses in filthy conditions with no food or clean water

Cruel Debbie Hunt kept horses Paddy and Duchess in a stable in notorious Little Oaks yard in Frogmore Lane, Waterlooville.

Hunt ‘lunges’ abused horse Paddy

The pair were kept in unsuitable conditions without access to suitable and sufficient food and fresh water, despite the RSPCA and World Horse Welfare giving Hunt repeated advice.

Horse abuser Deborah Jane Hunt from Cosham, Portsmouth
Horse abuser Deborah Jane Hunt

One of the animals was seen eating his own faeces because he was so desperate for food.

Horse abuser Deborah Jane Hunt of Cosham in Portsmouth kept two horses in filthy conditions with no food or clean water
Neglected horse Duchess is mentally scarred from her ordeal

RSPCA Inspector Tina Ward said: ‘This was a case of prolonged neglect where the needs of Paddy and Duchess were simply ignored.

‘The horses were in stables, filled with faeces and no clean bedding to give a dry resting area.

‘There was no food available and the only water they had access to was a small amount of very dirty water at the bottom of a bucket.

‘I saw Paddy eating his own faeces and found it very upsetting – it was clear he was desperate for food. Bay mare Duchess had severely overgrown hooves that hadn’t been tended by a farrier which were causing her further distress.

‘Thankfully both horses have gone on to make a fantastic recovery with the right care and a suitable diet.

‘Duchess is doing well health wise but mentally she has a long way to go. She has never been with other horses and had grass. She is still learning what it is to be a horse and often stands at the gate looking to come back in.’

Horse abuser Deborah Jane Hunt of Cosham in Portsmouth kept two horses in filthy conditions with no food or clean water

Hunt, who has links with serial horse abuser Josh Pedelty, was found guilty of three offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 in connection with the neglect suffered by Paddy and Duchess.

Sentencing: 12 weeks’ imprisonment suspended for 12 months; eight-week curfew; total of £865 costs and charges. Banned from keeping equines for five years with right of appeal after three.

Horse & Hound
The News

Aberford, Leeds: Andrew David Hinde

#TheList horse trader and kitten breeder Andrew David Colbert Hinde, born 07/01/1965, of Becca Farm, Aberford, Leeds LS25 3AH – flouted a ban and continued to abuse animals in his care

Former international horse show judge Hinde, who bred Dartmoor ponies at Pumphill Stud, immediately ignored a 12-year ban on keeping animals imposed in March 2015 and went on to neglect 50 horses and two foals.

The 2015 conviction related to cruelty to horses and also cats after dozens of pedigree British short-haired cats being bred for sale were found at the property Hinde shared with parents Raymond and Cynthia. They were also convicted of animal cruelty at that time.

Hinde was first convicted of horse cruelty in 2011 when he was banned from keeping horses for three years.

Now the serial animal abuser has finally been sent to jail and banned from keeping animals indefinitely with the crown court recorder Gavin Doig telling him it was “time to pay the price for your behaviour”.

The court heard heard Hinde kept 20 horses at his own farm with more than 50 other ponies kept in fields he rented at Westfield Farm at Kirk Smeaton near Pontefract.

The court heard in February 2017 RSPCA inspectors went to Westfield Farm and found some of the ponies were in poor condition with their her ribs, hips and spines. showing.

One of the ponies was emaciated and was suffering from hunger, was infected with lice and had overgrown feet.

Another pony, which was exhausted and suffering from hypothermia, was put to sleep.

The court heard that the pony was infested with worms and was infected with salmonella.

In July 2017 RSPCA inspectors went to Becca Farm at Aberford and seized 20 horses after finding that some were being kept in conditions that didn’t meet their needs.

Many of the animals had been left to fend for themselves with one suffering hypothermia

The horses and ponies were left without adequate food or shelter and were “skin and bone” with one so badly emaciated and infected with disease he had to be put down.

The judge told Hinde he had a “cavalier attitude towards the animals, a cavalier attitude to orders of the court; you showed complete disrespect”.

“Now you must face those consequences,” he added.

Shila Whitehead, defending, said Hinde had “issues on wanting to have animals”.

Sentencing: jailed for 11 months and banned from keeping animals indefinitely.

BBC News
Yorkshire Evening Post

Towyn, Abergele: Steven Lock

#TheList horse abuser Steven Martin Lock, born c. 1964, of Penisaf Avenue, Towyn, Abergele LL22 9LL

Gypsy traveller Steven Lock abuses horses and has also ripped off elderly people
Gypsy traveller Steven Lock abuses horses and has also ripped off elderly people through his dodgy building firms Coastal Home Improvements Ltd and Westcoast Roofing

Gypsy traveller Steven Lock pleaded guilty to four Animal Welfare Act offences related to his “appalling” and “long-running” treatment of equines.

The 54-year-old, a notorious rogue trader with a conviction for ripping off elderly customers, admitted offences relating to the mistreatment of seven mares and one stallion.

RSPCA Cymru had long been monitoring the welfare of a number of horses, located at fields off Tan-y-Fron Road in Abergele.
Despite repeated warnings and the provision of advice – the welfare of a number of the animals started to decline sharply over the autumn of 2018.

Horses neglected by gypsy traveller Steven Lock of Abergele, North Wales
Steven Lock has been banned from keeping animals for a decade following his “appalling” and “long-running” treatment of horses

In October 2018 officers removed three mares and a filly from the site, all of whom were very underweight and had severe diarrhoea.
Three foals belonging to the mares were also removed, because they were too young to come away from their mothers.

A further three mares, a filly and a stallion were removed in December 2018, many appearing thin, and living in muddy conditions. One was found to be suffering, while the remainder were not having their needs sufficiently met.

Two horses had to be euthanised after becoming seriously unwell. A post-mortem examination of them showed they had serious liver damage thought to be caused from ragwort as well as internal damage caused by parasites.

RSPCA inspector Jenny Anderton said: “This was a really difficult case to work on, given the repeated attempts and efforts we made to support this individual with caring for the horses.

“We worked closely with World Horse Welfare to help these horses, and we’re very grateful, as always, for their support, assistance and expertise.

“Sadly, the man’s failure to provide proper care was long-running, and some of the treatment these horses endured was appalling.

“Many were very thin, and living in wholly inappropriate muddy conditions. Others were struggling with severe diarrhoea and urgently needed help.

“Owning equines should be a privilege – but despite repeated warnings and attempts of help, this individual repeatedly failed to give the equines the care they so desperately needed.

“I hope this incident highlights to people how important it is to give equines appropriate treatment for parasites, be vigilant against the toxic plant ragwort as well as consulting your vet at the first sign of any illness.

“Horses have complex needs, are expensive to keep properly and time-consuming to look after.

“I would urge anyone considering taking on a horse to ensure they have the necessary financial means and specialist knowledge before they do so.”

Sentencing: curfew; ordered to pay £250 towards costs. Ten-year ban on keeping animals.

North Wales Live

Drakes Broughton, Worcester: Claire Mason

#TheList Claire A Mason, born c. 1972, of Magnolia Close, Drakes Broughton, Worcester WR10 2AZ – banned from keeping equines for 20 years after neglecting her three part-bred Arab horses

One of the three horses left to suffer by their cruel owner Claire Mason of Drakes Broughton, Worcester
One of the three horses left to suffer by their cruel owner Claire Mason of Drakes Broughton, Worcester

Mason admitted causing unnecessary suffering by failing to provide appropriate veterinary treatment for part-bred Arabs Rosie, Enrica and Fern, who were kept on a livery yard in the Worcestershire village of Norton. All three animals were suffering from laminitis.

The mares were found to be “severely lame” when an RSPCA inspector attended following concerns raised about their wellbeing in May 2018.

Inspector Suzi Smith said: “The horses were suffering from laminitis brought about by failing to treat underlying pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction, also known as Cushing’s.

“This can be managed successfully on medication alongside a well-managed diet. Sadly Mason failed to do this despite being made aware of the condition and being advised accordingly.”

The inspector said Mason was an experienced owner who should have known how to care for horses adding this made it “even more unacceptable” that she left the mares to suffer.

“The treatment plans and advice she’d been given were simply ignored. By banning her from keeping horses the court has recognised how important it is that no other animals are made to endure the same fate,” said Ms Smith.

All three mares were put down with the owner’s consent following veterinary advice owing to the severity of their condition.

The court heard Mason had mental health problems and further mitigation was advanced on the basis that the defendant had owned horses for years, had never had any previous issues, and had “won prizes at shows”.

Sentencing:
12 weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, and 100 hours of unpaid work. She was ordered to pay £1,000 costs and a £115 victim surcharge. Banned from keeping equines for 20 years

Horse & Hound

Castle Bromwich, West Midlands: Wayne Horkan

#TheList sexual deviant Wayne Tarot Horkan, born 10/11/1970, of Chester Road, Castle Bromwich B36 9DP – filmed his partner having sex with a dog; collected almost 2,000 images and videos depicting bestiality involving horses and dogs

Pervert Wayne Horkan from Castle Bromwich got his kicks from watching sick bestiality videos showing horses and dogs
Pervert Wayne Horkan from Castle Bromwich got his kicks from watching sick bestiality videos showing horses and dogs

Company director Wayne Horkan admitted two charges of possessing extreme pornographic images.

Police found the businessman had downloaded 1,469 still images and 210 moving ones involving sexual acts with dogs and horses. He had also used particular search terms to look for this kind of pornography.

Mr Timothy Harrington, prosecuting at Birmingham Crown Court, said the material had been downloaded between April 2014 and April 2015.

He added: “Two of the videos, it was readily apparent, involved a woman with whom the defendant had been in a relationship with.”

He continued: “He admitted he got sexual gratification from these films and had watched them on a number of occasions.”

In passing sentence Judge Melbourne Inman QC said: “Between 2014 and 2015 you downloaded imagery which it is not necessary to detail again, which are abhorrent.

“Two of them involved a lady whom you were living with which is an aggravating feature.

“There is no suggestion at all this was anything other than consensual adult behaviour.”

He said he had taken into account the significant delay involved in the case and that there had been no repetition of the behaviour.

The judge said Horkan was an intelligent man who had lost “important” employment as a result of the offence but had since set up a company with a partner.

Lynette McClement, defending, said the defendant’s initial relationship with the woman had been a financial one although that had changed.

She said: “In the course of that relationship his interest in extreme pornography was limited to that timescale. This was a shared interest.”

She said the business he had embarked upon had every chance of being successful and employed 10 people.

Sentencing: fined fined £4,000 and ordered to pay £1,200 costs.

Birmingham Mail

Shepperton, Surrey: Maurice Smith

#TheList traveller and habitual criminal Maurice Smith, born c. 1988, of Hawthorn Way, Shepperton TW1 – subjected a horse to prolonged neglect and mistreatment

Traveller Maurice Smith from Shepperton, Surrey, subjected horse April to neglect and ill-treatment
April

Maurice Smith, who has a previous conviction for conning a 92-year-old woman out of her life savings, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.

Gypsy traveller Smith, formerly of Littleton Lane Caravan Park in Shepperton and a drug and alcohol abuser, was charged under the Animal Welfare Act after evidence emerged of how he had subjected the horse, named April, to prolonged neglect and ill-treatment, which had left her in extreme distress.

A number of witnesses initially contacted police in April 2018 to report that the horse was in distress. She had been left double rugged in temperatures of 24 degrees without shade and was sweating profusely.

Police attended the location and decided that April needed immediate medical care and seized her under the Animal Welfare Act.

After a full medical examination by a vet, April was found to be undernourished, with multiple sores, was wearing ill-fitting handmade shoes which were causing her foot pain, and was suffering from worms or a viral infection. The vet said that she had been subjected to poor management and undue suffering.

Smith was identified as April’s owner but initially denied that she belonged to him when he was interviewed. However, he later admitted that she was his and said that he had asked a vet to examine April and that she was being treated with antibiotics. However, he could not provide any details in relation to the treatment April received.

The court heard evidence from a number of witnesses in relation to the lack of care given to April, to which Smith was also unable to provide any explanation.

Investigating officer PC Chloe Hodgkinson said: “This was a complex investigation which took many months to bring to fruition.

“I was called to deal with the incident and was shocked by the pitiful state April was in. Due to her condition, I decided to seize her under the Animal Welfare Act so that she could immediately begin receiving the medical treatment that she needed.

“From speaking to a number of witnesses, it soon became apparent that April had been suffering over a prolonged period. I put a case together against her owner, Maurice Smith, which resulted in him being charged with causing unnecessary suffering to an animal and being brought before the court last week.”

PC Hodgkinson added: “April has since received the care and treatment that she needed and is making a good recovery. I hope that this case will deter other owners from neglecting their animals and send a strong message that if you are caught, you will be dealt with.”

Sentencing: 12 month community order involving 120 hours of unpaid work; total of £485 costs and charges.

Surrey Police
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