Banned for life after ‘appalling’ horse neglect

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A woman has been banned from keeping horses for life after one of her two animals was found dead in a field and the other in an extremely emaciated state.

Rachel Hall, 25, of Rosedale, Houghton Regis, was sentenced on Friday after previously pleading guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a bay geldling called Sam and a bay mare named Polly.

She was found to have failed to address problems of poor body condition and weight loss, provide a suitable environment, diet and fresh water, and meet their needs for reasonable daily care and supervision.

At Milton Keynes Magistrates Court, Hall was given an eight week custody order suspended for 12 months, a 12 month supervision order, 80 hours unpaid work and made to pay £2,000 in costs plus a £80 victim surcharge.

The RSPCA was called in November 2013 after concern about Sam and Polly, who were kept in a field in Church Road, Upper Sundon. Inspectors arrived to find Sam already dead.

Both horses were extremely emaciated with poor grazing and no evidence of supplementary feeding or access to water.

RSPCA chief inspector Rob Hartley said: “I was absolutely appalled by the level of neglect I found.

“This was a particularly nasty case where the suffering of the horses was completely unnecessary and the owner was guilty of severe neglect. These horses had not been receiving any care at all and had basically been completely ignored.

“I am very happy that the seriousness of this case has been reflected in the sentence handed down by the magistrates.”

Polly was seized on the scene by the police and taken into RSPCA care.

She was then passed to another charity and later died from ill health.