11 purebred horses put down and 20 more seized after being found in filthy Blackpool stables
Six purebred Arabian horses had to be immediately put down by a vet after they were found to be living what a court heard was appalling conditions.
Five more mares and stallions, whose foals were sold at up to £12,000 a time, had to be killed later because of the pain they were suffering because of medical conditions.
Some horses were emaciated and others could not walk.
District Judge Jim Clarke sitting at Blackpool Magistrates Court heard how horse welfare agencies including the RSPCA combined with police to stage a raid on the Haworth Arabian Stud at The Sycamores on Jubilee Lane, Blackpool.
The team seized a total of 31 horses in an early morning raid.
The owner of the stud, 58-year-old Nicola Haworth, who lives at the stables, did not attend court. Her lawyer Nigel Weller told the judge she denied the offences but had not given him proper instructions.
He said: ”This is the sixth listing of this case and she has yet to appear. She appears to have some personality problems.”
His client who has shown Arab horse at the Horse of the Year show and British Arab Society’s leading shows denied causing unnecessary suffering to the horses by failing to give them hoof and dental care.
She also denied keeping the animals in an unsuitable hygienic environment.
Carmel Wilde, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said that the charity inspectors had found the animals living in dilapidated stables - some without doors and some with missing wooden panels. The horses’ bedding was covered in urine and droppings.
Some horses hooves were so overgrown the animals could hardly move they were in such pain.
There was evidence that some had not been out of their stables for some time to use nearby sand and grass paddocks.
She said the RSPCA acted and gained a warrant after they were tipped off by officials from World Horse Welfare and the Horses and Ponies Protection Association about conditions at the stud.
The prosecutor said: ”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 euthanised later.”
She said that since the seizure was carried out in September last year it had cost the RSPCA £1,000 a week to keep the remaining horses at a livery.
The judge heard that Haworth had been given two written warnings about what was going on but failed to act.
Her father John Haworth, who owns the land, told one RSPCA inspector who asked to interview him: ”I don’t give at s**t.This is where I go no comment.”
The prosecutor added:”All this pain and suffering could have been avoided had Haworth called in a vet and a farrier.”
“Some horses had not been mucked out for months.”
“When she was questioned by the investigators Haworth was quite flippant.”