The owner of a young horse left crippled by years of neglect has been banned from keeping horses for 10 years and ordered to pay almost £10,000 in costs and compensation.

Yesterday at Haywards Heath Magistrates Court, Jane Sandys (pictured), 61, of East View Fields, Plumpton Green in Lewes, East Sussex, admitted causing her horse Florence to suffer.

Florence, a six-year-old black mare, was found crippled with hooves so overgrown that they curled back on themselves. Her condition was deemed to bad to save and the mare was put down.

Vets and World Horse Welfare officer Ted Barnes said they had never seen anything like it before.

Years of experience haven’t hardened me to this prolonged neglect of Florence, I found this case extremely upsetting,” said Mr Barnes.

Three horses in the care of Jane Sandys were found by Ted Barnes and an RSPCA inspector last November.

Florence was put to sleep immediately, and an elderly bay mare and chestnut gelding were signed over to the care of World Horse Welfare. The gelding has since been put to sleep.

At Haywards Heath Magistrates Court yesterday (20 October), Sandys admitted to causing suffering to Florence and of action likely to cause suffering to two other horses.

In a case brought by the RSPCA, magistrates watched part of a video of Florence after she had been removed from Jane Sandys’ care. They heard evidence from a vet that the horse’s feet had been in a bad state for most of her life.

Because of the “prolonged neglect” of the mare, Sandys was sentenced within the upper limit of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

Magistrates ordered that six remaining horses be removed from her possession.