FOREST of Dean woman Tina Hodge has been found guilty of failing to meet the needs of two horses at a two-day trial.
Hodge, 47, of Cullimore View, Ruspidge, neglected a dark bay horse and a pony, Cheltenham Magistrate’s Court heard.
She was ordered to pay fines and costs totalling £1,420 after failing to provide exercise or veterinary treatment when necessary.
RSPCA inspector Pippa Boyd found the dark bay horse named Star had a rug sore for which she had not received veterinary treatment.
Just three months later, inspectors found Lucky the pony’s hooves had not been trimmed and were curled up into ‘Aladdin’s slippers’. He had apparently been in the stable for seven months and not been exercised.
RSPCA inspector Suzi Smith, who investigated Lucky’s case, said: “I am pleased that this case has now been resolved. The defendant said that Lucky was difficult to catch and that’s why his hooves were in such an awful state, but we managed to catch and load him onto transport, as well as trim his hooves quite easily.
“There can be no excuse for someone who keeps horses not to provide them with the most basic care to meet their needs and that includes ensuring they receive veterinary care and farriery when they need it. If they can’t cope with this they need to seek help.”
The court also heard that RSPCA inspectors and field officers from World Horse Welfare had advised the owner on horse care on previous occasions.
Hodge was found not guilty of a third offence of causing unnecessary suffering.
World Horse Welfare Field Officer Phil Jones said: “This case is sadly typical of the types of cases we deal with.
“We regularly see owners who have more horses than they can cope with, meaning that the animals do not get the level of care and attention they need and the situation can escalate into a welfare problem.
“World Horse Welfare would always advise that if horse owners are feeling overwhelmed or need help coping they should get in touch early, ask for help, and try to follow the guidance given to ensure that the best option is taken for horse welfare.”
Lucky and Star have both been found a new home.
The RSPCA currently has more than 800 horses in its care despite having just 125 places in our equine centres.