The owner of a pony found with a maggot-infested open wound has been given a suspended prison sentence and banned from keeping equines for life.

Richard James Riding’s Welsh section A stallion Tiddles had infected genitals, sores in his mouth and a number of lesions, as well as the deep flank wound crawling with maggots, when RSPCA officers found him in June. His suffering was so bad he had to be put down immediately.

Riding, of Whalley Road, Great Harwood, was sentenced at Blackburn Magistrates’ Court on 7 December, having pleaded guilty to three offences under the Animal Welfare Act, relating to a number of Welsh ponies.

*Warning, readers may find the video below distressing*

RSPCA inspectors also found mares Cara and Sapphire, who had badly overgrown feet, and four-year-old Sparkle with a foal at foot.

Inspector Lyndsey Taylor said: “Ridings told us he used to show and breed the ponies as a hobby but gave up in 2010, though a couple were born unintentionally after that.

“Having sold all the others, he said he had arranged for these final five to be slaughtered in March but no date was ever set, just when the knackerman had time. He called again on the day we visited and was told there was a six-week wait.

“He told us Tiddles had been kicked by another horse in October and it got a bit better but some swelling remained, then in May it burst and he treated it with Terramycin spray every other day for a fortnight. He said it seemed to dry up and he thought that was that until he looked at Tiddles with us.

“It would seem he had lost all interest in these ponies, giving them hardly any more than a glance over a gate to check their welfare.

“You cannot adequately care for animals in this way and very sadly they suffered as a result.”

Riding, who turns 52 on 15 December, was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to do 100 hours of unpaid work. He was ordered to pay £100 in costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

The court heard he regretted what had happened.



Cara and Sapphire were put down as both had Cushing’s syndrome and were “unhandleable”. Sparkle and her foal, Pearl, are “doing well” in the care of World Horse Welfare. Pearl is already available for rehoming and it is hoped Sparkle will be rehomed in the future.

*Warning, the video below shows graphic footage of the infected wound and the stallion’s body after he has been put down*

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