Shocking images show a starving horse which was so thin an RSPCA inspector said the poor animal resembled a “coat hanger.”
Chestnut mare Autumn was so malnourished her ribs were visible through her back.
The RSPCA discovered her after the charity received a tip-off about underweight horses being kept at stables in Ledbury, Herefordshire.
Autumn was examined by vets but it was later decided she was too poorly and was put to sleep.
Jessica Pugh, 21, of Worcester, and her mom Kerry Pugh, 43, of Bosbury, Herefordshire, admitted failing to meet the needs of Autumn.
Oliver Fairy, 21, of Malvern, Worcs., pleaded guilty to failing to meet the needs of another horse, a grey mare named Totti.
All three were banned from keeping equines for seven years when they appeared at Hereford Magistrates’ Court on January 30.
Fairy was handed a £450 fine, victim surcharge of £180, and ordered to pay £200 costs.
Jessica and Kerry Pugh were each handed a £196 fine, a victim surcharge to pay of £78 and ordered to pay £200 costs.
RSPCA inspector Suzane Smith told the court she attended a stables in Ledbury on March 22 last year after the RSPCA received a call.
She said: “She (Autumn) was wearing a rug, but despite the rug I could see she was extremely angular with the rug hanging on her like she was a coat hanger, I was informed the horse was called Autumn.
“There was no food or water in the stable, there was no bedding, there was some faeces.”
The owner of the stables gave her the owner details as Jess Pugh and Oliver Fairy.
Fairy told Inspector Smith that the horse was Jess Pugh’s horse and he had spoken to a vet the night before.
Inspector Smith told the court said: “I went into the stable and removed the rug, as I suspected, the horse was extremely underweight with all bones exposed, a clear thigh gap between her buttock cheeks, the rib cage was fully visible with a shelf along the top where it met with the spinal processors.
“Whilst waiting for the vet, as Autumn had no food or water I asked if some could be provided and a slice of hay in a small haynet was hung in the stable and the small empty bucket which was in the stable was filled.”
She was also informed that there had been another horse, a gray mare, which had left the yard on March 17 and had been returned to the owner in North Wales.
She was told that Fairy had had this horse on a lease or loan arrangement and the horse was known as Totti.
A vet who attended assessed the Autumn and said that he had spoken with the owner the previous evening.
Inspector Smith added: “He [the vet] then clearly said that the horse was about the thinnest horse he’d seen and confirmed suffering.”
In the vet’s statement, he said the mare’s body condition was 0.5 out of five and that there was strong evidence “to support parasitism for the poor body condition of the horse.”
Autumn was soon assessed by a vet and transported to RSPCA boarding but the decision was made to put her to sleep.
Produced in association with SWNS Talker
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