A man from Co. Durham has been banned from keeping animals for five years after “failing to provide adequate care for his horse”.

Christopher Steele, of Clough Dene, Tantobie, appeared at Peterlee Magistrates’ Court on Friday (13 November).

He was accused of offences involving the welfare of a young skewbald horse that he kept in a field in Edmondsley.

Steele pleaded guilty to two offences relating to inappropriate tethering and failing to provide adequate hoof care for the 18-month old horse Geordie, now renamed Skippy, in February.

Tantobie 1“Poor Skippy was found straying in a field with a snapped tether chain hanging from his neck,” said RSPCA inspector Helen Scott.

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“This type of tether is completely inappropriate. We then noticed his hooves were far too long and were splitting and peeling. We tried to give Mr Steele advice previously, which was clearly ignored.”

“Skippy was removed on veterinary advice on 1 March. Now he has been signed over to us and we can find him the loving home he deserves.”

He was banned from keeping animals for five years. He was also handed a 12-month community order to include 120 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay £985 costs; £831.50 vets bills; and a £60 victim surcharge.

TantobieThe court heard that Steele committed two offences under section 9 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006, by failing to ensure the horse’s welfare needs were met through included inappropriate tethering and failing to provide adequate hoofcare.

Steele was acquitted of two further allegations relating to failure to provide a suitable living environment, and failure to ensure fresh drinking water was available.