The British Hanoverian Horse Society (BHHS) has been instrumental in securing a conviction against a West Yorkshire horse dealer.

Dagmar Blick, 24, of Wakefield, sold a Hanoverian mare as a seven-year-old when the horse’s brand proved its true age was 16.

Blick pleaded guilty to falsely describing a horse in an advert at Buxton Magistrates Court on 16 October. She was ordered to pay £4,000 compensation and costs.

The case was brought by Derbyshire County Council’s trading standards department with help from the BHHS.

The mare, Magic, was bought by Briony Middleton in December 2006 for £3,000 from an advert but was put down in June 2007 after she became unrideable.

Ms Middleton told H&H: “We never got to the bottom of what was wrong with Magic, but despite six months of veterinary care and physiotherapy, her behaviour was so extreme she had to be put to sleep.”

Magic had not been vetted for Ms Middleton, but was sold with a vetting certificate from a Yorkshire practice.

The BHHS’s John Shenfield was key to proving the case against Blick.

He told H&H: “As the mare was a branded German Hanoverian, there was a three-digit number under the brand that showed she was rising 16.

“I contacted the German breed society to prove this and sent a hair sample to Germany to be DNA profiled.”

The DNA test proved the mare was foaled in 1991 and registered with the name Evita.

“Some people have welfare concerns about hot branding, but this is proof of how useful it
can be. A brand is an obvious, very efficient and cheap method of identification,” Mr Shenfield added.

This article was first published in Horse & Hound (30 October, ’08)