Horse&Hound and the RSPCA have launched an appeal to trace the owner of a pony, which was spotted on a wasteland in Cardiff with his head tied with baling twine.

The small bay pony was seen by freelance photographer Lawrence Squire, who was working on Horse & Hound’s exclusive news report on the suffering of status symbol ponies (12 June 2003).

Lawrence took several pictures of the pony in an attempt to highlight his suffering and the images make for disturbing viewing.

Whoever handled the pony last left it wearing a bridle and side reins made from rope and baling twine. His head was tied in so tight that the string had cut deep into his neck and belly.

The only way the pony could drink was to stick his whole head under water. The metal bit was drawn so tightly in his mouth that it had caused his lips to split and crack.

Lawrence said: “I was taking photographs to accompany an article when I came across this pony in a terrible state.

“It looked as though someone had tried to break it in – I tried to catch it to take at least the string out but he wouldn’t let anyone near him – it was just horrifying.”

Horse & Hound immediately contacted the RSPCA who sent a field officer to try and catch the pony. The attempt was unsuccessful but by the time an RSPCA inspector arrived to check the pony, the string and bit had been removed.

Anyone with any information about this pony should contact the RSPCA (tel: 00870 5555999).

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