#TheList Robert Michael Hunter, born c. 1984, of Scott Hall Road, Chapel Allerton, Leeds LS7 – banned from keeping equines after his pony was found severely exhausted and dehydrated at Appleby Horse Fair
RSPCA inspectors intervened after the cob gelding was seen breathing heavily and dripping with sweat on June 6 2018, and struggling badly again the following day.
Only after negotiation and police intervention did owner Robert Michael Hunter allow his animal to be examined by a vet.
She found the animal to be severely exhausted, dehydrated and with a dangerously raised heart rate.
The vet went on to say that without veterinary treatment the horse would have been at serious risk of collapse and, subsequently, death due to the severity of exhaustion seen.
The horse was treated and has since made a full recovery.
H orse trader Hunterwas prosecuted and initially denied three charges. But ahead of trial he admitted two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal both by overworking the pony and failing to provide him with routine dentistry for the previous six months.
He also admitted failing to ensure the horse’s worming and dentistry needs were met during a two-year period up to June 2018.
Hunter, a married father-of four and “experienced horseman”, said of the family pet: “I would never ever cause that horse any unnecessary suffering that I’d have known of”.
But, jailing him for 90 days, District Judge Gerald Chalk said: “Put simply, that horse had been severely overworked and was suffering from dehydration.
“That, in my view, is either deliberate ill treatment or neglect by you, and a high level of suffering was caused to that animal.”
Sentencing: jailed for 90 days. Banned from owning or keeping any equine animals for six years.