'Appalling' horse neglect owner gets 10-year animal ban after purebreds put down in 'tragic' case at Blackpool farm
A stud farm owner in Blackpool has been banned from keeping animals for 10 years after 11 horses had to be put down when they were found living in "horrendous" conditions.
Six horses had to be immediately put down by a vet after they were found in "the worst conditions the vets and RSPCA inspectors have ever seen".
Another five pure bred Arab 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 and because of medical conditions.
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They were among 31 horses horses seized in a joint raid by the RSPCA and police on the Haworth Arabian Stud at The Sycamores on Jubilee Lane, Marton, following a tip-off from horse welfare charities.
Owner Nicola Haworth, 58, who lives at the stables, did not attend court and was found guilty of cruelty in her absence.
She was given a six-month curfew, had the horses taken off her for good and given a 10-year ban from looking after animals of any kind. She must pay £4,000 court costs and an £85 victim surcharge.
Carmel Wilde, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said that the charity's inspectors had found the animals living in dilapidated stables - some without doors or missing wooden panels.
The horses’ bedding was covered in months of urine and droppings, the court heard.
Ms Wilde added: "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 euthanased later. Others have behaviour problems and will never be ridden as they are dangerous.
“These were the worst conditions the vets and RSPCA inspectors have ever seen. Basics tasks were not carried out for a prolonged time. It was neglect.”
Some of the horses' hooves were so overgrown the animals could hardly move because they were in so much pain, the court was told. There was evidence that some had not been out of their stables for some time to use nearby sand and grass paddocks.
District Judge Jim Clarke said: ”This has been a tragic case all round.Matter got beyond her control and she resisted offers of help.”
Haworth's lawyer Nigel Weller told the judge she denied the offences but had not given him proper instructions.
He said: ”She is disappointed with the outcome and very distressed about the deprivation order.”
Haworth 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 failing to keep the animals in a suitable hygienic environment.
The court heard keeping the horses had cost the RSPCA £42,000 in livery fees since the raid on the stud.
The judge was told Haworth had been given two written warnings about what was going on but failed to act.
Ms Wilde 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.”
Speaking after the hearing, RSPCA deputy chief inspector Carl Larsson said: "It was the most horrific case I have ever had to deal with in my whole career.
"Just the sheer number of animals it involved and the level of pain and suffering, it was quite sickening."
He added that the horses would have been in "crippling" pain and they were only euthanised as a "last resort".