Life ban on keeping horses for equestrian author Lesley Skipper

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Equestrian author Lesley Skipper has been banned from keeping horses for life.

Mrs Skipper’s husband Brian was also banned for life yesterday (15 October) at Darlington Magistrates Court and they were each ordered to pay £250 costs.

Last month the couple, of Durham Road, Stockton on Tees, were each found guilty of six counts of causing unnecessary suffering and failing to meet the needs of four horses between 14 May and 14 June 2011.

The prosecution was brought by the RSPCA, which claimed they had failed to get professional help for four horses – an Arab cross mare and a stallion that both had chronic laminitis, a mare with dental problems and a stallion with severely overgrown hooves.

The laminitic stallion was put down at the scene by the Skippers’ own vet.

The horses were kept at stables on Sadberge Road, Darlington.

The RSPCA attended after a tip-off from the British Horse Society on 14 June 2011 and found the horses in stables with so much dirty bedding that their heads were touching the roofs.

Two of the surviving horses were signed over to the RSPCA by the Skippers and the third has been confiscated by the charity.

RSPCA inspector Garry Palmer said: “These are people who are supposed to know how to care for horses, so it is even more unacceptable that they left these animals in such poor conditions.

“By banning the defendants from keeping horses the court has recognised how important it is that no other animals are made to endure the same fate.”

Mrs Skipper is a prolific and popular equestrian author whose books include Understanding Horse Behaviour, Inside your Horse’s Mind and Realise Your Horse’s True Potential.