Jail and equine ban for man who worked pony to exhaustion at Appleby Horse Fair

Jail and equine ban for man who worked pony to exhaustion at Appleby Horse Fair

A man from Leeds has been jailed for causing suffering to a pony he overworked to the point of exhaustion at last year’s Appleby Horse Fair in Cumbria. Little Ginger also had mouth injuries.

 

Robert Michael Hunter (D.O.B 30.10.84) of Scott Hall Road pleaded guilty to three offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 - two of causing unnecessary suffering to Little Ginger by failing to provide routine dentistry and overworking him, and a third of failing to meet his needs by failing to provide routine dentistry and worming.

 

RSPCA inspector Lyndsey Taylor said: “Little Ginger (pictured above at Appleby) was found to be severely exhausted, and suffering from hyperthermia and dehydration as a result of being overworked, needing immediate veterinary treatment.

 

“He was very dull with his head held low and barely responding. He was standing but didn’t want to move. Vets said his temperature and breathing rate were both severely raised and his heart rate was dangerously increased.

 

“If the owner had carried on working this pony he probably would have collapsed. On top of that, when vets examined him further they found he had trauma to the inside of both cheeks due to his teeth not being rasped.”

 

The cob gelding was taken into the care of World Horse Welfare (pictured left) and they will now be able to prepare him for adoption.

 

The cardiac recovery index test - which is widely used in the endurance field to assess horses’ fitness to go on working and levels of recovery - was brought in at last year’s Appleby Horse Fair to check the condition of horses who vets were concerned about.

 

This year’s Appleby Horse Fair is taking place between 6 - 12 June and RSPCA officers, along with partner equine charities, will be in attendance as always.

 

Hunter was sentenced to 90 days in prison and disqualified from keeping equines for six years, suspended for six months to give time to sell or rehome his horses. He was also deprived of Little Ginger. He was ordered to pay £500 costs and a £115 victim surcharge.