A Cambridgeshire family has been banned from keeping horses for life after being found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to two ponies in their possession.

Sandra Rose Loveridge, 38, her husband, George Robert Loveridge, 37, and his father, John William Smith, 71, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

In February 2003, ILPH field officer Jonathan (Jacko) Jackson was driving along the A10 at Littleport, Cambs, when he saw some ponies in a field which looked underweight.

“I took a closer look,” explains Jacko. “One of them, a chestnut mare, was lying down and could not get up. She was badly emaciated and distressed. From the marks in the grass, which extended over some distance, I concluded that she had been down for a considerable time.”

Sadly, the mare never got up and was euthanased by a vet on the spot. A grey mare and her coloured foal, who were also emaciated, were taken to ILPH Hall Farm in Norfolk, where they made a full recovery.

Continues Jacko: “We couldn’t be more pleased with the sentencing. People who neglect the welfare of their horses and ponies and cause them to suffer for such a long period, as was seen in this case, must suffer the consequences themselves.”