A woman has been jailed and fined after breaching a ban on keeping horses. Delia Stacey of Tidmarsh, Reading, was last year banned from keeping horses for three years after allowing a pregnant mare to starve.

Last Friday, 3 August, Guildford Crown Court gave Stacey a 35-day prison sentence and an extra five-year ban and ordered her to pay costs of £2,000 for breaching the ban originally imposed in 2006 (news, 18 May 2006).

Field officer for the International League for the Protection of Horses Ted Barnes found the pregnant mare too weak to stand, with two other emaciated horses at Ms Stacey’s Pepperbox Stud in Bramley, near Guildford, in March 2005. A vet was called but the mare was later put down. In a neighbouring field, in full view of the horses, had been 1,000 bales of hay.

Ms Stacey received a three-year ban for these cases in May 2006, along with a one-month suspended sentence, a 120hr community service and a £9,000 fine. But she was spotted by an RSPCA inspector a few days later transporting four polo ponies along the M23 and M25.

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound (9 August, ’07)