Staffordshire horse owners have pleaded guilty to neglecting five horses — two of which were heavily pregnant.

An investigation by World Horse Welfare found the horses had been kept in a dirty barn with a herd of cattle for months, without enough food.

Rachel Andrews, the WHW officer said the dark, poorly ventilated barn “was completely unsuitable for all the animals, but predominantly for those giving birth.”

Agricultural contractor Rob Shufflebotham, was ordered to pay £2,060 and do 150 hours community service.

He owned 2 of the horses, and the land where they were kept.

Shaun Edgecox, who owned the remaining 3 horses and the cattle, was given 240 hours unpaid work and ordered to pay £2,540.

Both were sentenced at Cannock magistrates court on 16 July.

The horses were taken to WHW’s rescue and rehoming centre, Penny Farm in Blackpool, where the pregnant mares gave birth to healthy foals.

Homes are now being sought for the rehabilitated horses. For more information visit: