A man who allowed a gelding to become emaciated, with open wounds and a severe louse infestation, has been banned from keeping horses for a year by a Kent court.

Eric Whenday, of Lydd, Kent, pleaded not guilty to charges of causing unnecessary suffering and failing to provide veterinary care for the gelding, but was found guilty at Hastings Magistrates Court yesterday (22 April).

World Horse Welfare field officer Ted Barnes was called to a field in Rye, Hastings, on 20 March 2008, following a report of neglect.

Mr Barnes said the horse was very thin, with a number of wounds consistent with a rug injury and severely overgrown hooves.

He estimated the horse had been suffering for at least five months and a vet recommended it was euthanased after being removed from the premises.

Mr Whenday, who claims the horse was dumped on his land by unknown persons, was also ordered to pay £2,400 in costs.