Lame horse owner fined nearly £5k

A Staffordshire Moorlands woman has been fined nearly £5,000 after failing to look after a horse riddled with worms.

RSPCA inspectors and police discovered ‘lame’ Rosie in a field, she had misshapen and overgrown hooves, dental problems, and killer tape worms and strongyle worms in her intestines.

She was later put down.

NHS worker Jackie Brown from Quarnford, has been banned from keeping horses for five years.

RSPCA prosecutor Roger Price told North Staffordshire Justice Centre: “The horse was obese, struggling to walk. The hooves were extremely long, misshapen and overgrown.”

He added: “Laminitis is a very painful condition and this horse was obese. The weight of the horse pushed down into the hoof and caused a bone to push out. That phenomenon causes extreme pain for the horse. It was described by the vet as a very painful condition.

“The vet also described the horse as crippled. It was rocking back on its four limbs. It was also weight shifting from foot to foot.”

The court heard the symptoms would have been evident for months and even years. Rosie had not been seen by a farrier for at least nine months.

The court heard 59-year-old Brown declined interview requests and instead submitted two statements.

Referring to news of the RSPCA visit, she said: “I was so distraught I crashed my vehicle en-route and had to wait for my husband to collect me. By the time I had travelled home she had been taken.

“She had not been lame long term, this can be confirmed by my neighbours. I was not aware that Rosie had an issue with her teeth. If I had been aware I would have got an equine dentist to visit. I was not aware she had a problem with her weight.”

The court heard Brown had been dealing with the death of her father-in-law, depression and anxiety, and she had been denied annual leave from the NHS.

Duncan Phillips, mitigating, said: “This was a horse she had loved since it was five months old and she was upset with the way it was taken. But she takes in trust that it was the best thing to do for the animal.”

Brown admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal. She also admitted failing to maintain the Highland mare’s teeth, failing to provide a worm control programme, and failing to deal with a collapsed wall which could have seen Rosie escape onto the A53 Buxton Road.

She was handed £4,840 in fines as well as being ordered to pay £400 costs and a £121 victim surcharge.

Magistrate Sue Spooner said: “We accept you feel great anguish over this matter. But we also feel that you had time to rectify the matter.”


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