Bedlington Magistrates Court have banned a woman from keeping horses for five years and fined her £500 after an RSPCA inspector found an elderly horse in her care, starving and suffering from untreated wounds on her face and withers.

Ingrid Friberg30, from Bebside in Blyth, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to Savannah, a 15hh, 34-year-old mare.

Savannah was found on 16 April this year by RSPCA inspector Ian Smith, investigating a complaint made from a concerned member of the public.

He found the mare starving, suffering from lice and untreated wounds extending across her face and on her withers.

Ingrid always denied that Savannah was hers and, at an earlier hearing, magistrates were told that Ingrid had agreed to look after the mare 18 months earlier on the basis she would find a home for her.

The court heard from her defence that she was a “trophy-winning rider and a member of a riding association, but that she was short of cash and did not consider Savannah to be her responsibility.”

Savannah initially made a good recovery, however the wound on her head failed to heal properly and on the advice of a vet she was put down.

Speaking after the case, Inspector Ian Smith said: “I am very pleased with the outcome of this trial, but everyone involved is upset at the loss of Savannah, particularly as she had made such good progress and regained so much weight.”