A 58-year-old woman who repeatedly failed to get her pony’s feet trimmed hasbeen found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering by Dorking Magistrates Court in Surrey.

Christine Mahoney, from Warlingham, was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to Freddie, a Shetland-type pony in her possession. She was fined £250 and ordered to pay £5,150 costs.

ILPH Field Officer Ted Barnes first visited Freddie in Warlingham on 9 May 2001 following a complaint made by a member of the public. Ted found the chestnut gelding to be lame and suffering from neglected feet.

The ILPH paid for a farrier to trim the gelding’s feet, but on 19 December that year the ILPH received another complaint about his condition. When visiting Freddie, the charity once again found his feet to be in a very bad state. After issuing his owner with a warning, the ILPH paid for his treatment.

A third visit to Freddie on 10 June 2002 showed his feet to be in an even worse state than on previous occasions. He was lame on all four feet and x-rays showed pedal bone rotation in every hoof. He was in so much pain he could not stand and spent most of his time lying down.

Ted Barnes said: “Caroline Mahoney had no excuse, she was perfectly aware that the pony needed to have his feet trimmed regularly. He must have been in agony.

“This conviction sends out all the right messages. The element of cruelty in this case was proven by the owner’s neglect in assuring that the pony had his feet trimmed regularly. She has got what she deserved.”

Although Caroline Mahoney was not banned from keeping horses, the magistrate decided that Freddie will not be returned to her. He will remain with the ILPH for the rest of his days.

For more information on the ILPH click here to visit their website.

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