A Cheshire woman, described by welfare groups as a “disgrace”, has been given a three-year community order and an 8-year ban on any contact with horses after repeatedly abusing animals in her care.

Caroline Sutton, 52, of Wilmslow, appeared before Macclesfield Magistrates Court on 10 December. She was fined £250 for offences under section 9 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006. The judge also ordered that the remaining four ponies in her care be removed.

The RSPCA and World Horse Welfare reported that they have been working for “many years” to apprehend Mrs Sutton, and the removal of the horses was only possible thanks to new legislation introduced through the 2006 act.

Between May to September 2007, seven horses living in squalid and dangerous conditions were seized from premises rented by Mrs Sutton in Alderley Edge, Cheshire.

World Horse Welfare’s chief field officer, Paul Teasdale, said: “Caroline Sutton has been a thorn in the side of World Horse Welfare, the RSPCA and countless local people for many years.

“She professes to be a horse lover. In fact, she is a disgrace and embarrassment to the horseworld. She alone is responsible for subjecting her horses to a life of misery, discomfort and squalor.

“She deserves her punishment, together with the contempt of those of us who have had the misfortune to deal with her over the years.”

Two of the horses removed from Ms Sutton were taken to World Horse Welfare’s Penny Farm in Blackpool.

Anybody who is interested in rehoming a horse from World Horse Welfare can visit www.worldhorsewelfare.org.