Horse owners struggling to keep their animals during the credit crunch have been given a stern warning, after a man from Oxford was banned from keeping equines for 10 years.

Banbury Magistrates Court on Friday (27 November) imposed the ban on Karl Wade, 50, from Oxford, after he admitted causing unnecessary suffering to his Clydesdale horse, Ryan.

Wade, of Meadow Lane, Shipton-under-Wychwood, told the court he was having financial problems, which had led to him neglecting the horse.

The bay horse was found by the RSPCA in March this year in an emaciated condition, riddled with worms and with neglected feet and teeth. He also had a leg injury that was at least two weeks old.

Will Rippon, an inspector for the RSPCA, prosecuting in this case, said afterwards: “If someone feels unable to care for their animals due to finances or any other reasons, they must seek help and advice from a vet or animal welfare organisation.

“It is simply not acceptable to ignore the problem and leave the animal to suffer.”

A vet assessing the case estimated Ryan had been made to suffer after receiving inadequate food and water for three months.

As well as the 10-year ban, Karl Wade was ordered to pay £750 in costs and ordered to do 200 hours of community service.

Ryan was taken in by The Horse Trust, who have restored him to health with the help of their dental technician, farrier and nutritionists (see picture left).

Charli Pardon, head groom at The Horse Trust echoed the RSPCA’s warning.

“Hopefully this case will make people think more carefully before taking on a horse they are unable to look after properly,” said Charli.

“We are delighted with the sentence, and are pleased that we were able to work with the RSPCA to give Ryan a secure and happy future for the rest of his life.”