A former Newmarket racehorse trainer has been sentenced to 240 hours community service and banned from keeping equines for life, after pleading guilty to five counts of causing unnecessary suffering to horses.

Kuwait-born Kamil Mahdi, 53, was also ordered to pay £6,000 costs by magistrates at Bury St Edmonds, who described it as: “a very serious case of cruelty and neglect to horses”.

RSPCA inspector Chris Nice discovered the five racehorses belonging to Kamil Mahdi in varied states of emaciation, after a neighbour raised the alarm on 6 February 2002.

During the RSPCA investigation, Mahdi admitted the horses – Awassi, Chillisima, Desert Warrior, Hamadeen, and Mount Holly – had been shut in their boxes for “at least” five days, and forced to stand and lie in their faeces and urine. The feet and mouths of the racehorses had also been neglected; their shoes had become overgrown and sharp molar teeth needed rasping.

At the request of vet Matthew Tong, the fiveThoroughbreds were removed from Green Ridge Stables, Hamilton Road, Newmarket, for treatment and care. But the malnourished state of one gelding, Desert Warrior, was such that he collapsed soon after and had to be put down.

“The cause of thepoor condition in Mount Holly and the other horses was malnutrition and neglect. No veterinary attention was sought for the horses in the days preceding seizure,” reported Peter Green, the expert veterinary witness. “Failure to provide care and veterinary attention caused unnecessary suffering.”

The four other Thoroughbreds remained in RSPCA care for the period of their rehabilitation, and were looked after by Mahdi’s neighbours, Dr and Mrs Scargill at Red House Stables, Newmarket.

The RSPCA enlisted the support of the Emergency Relief for Thoroughbreds to ensure that the remaining seven horses from Mahdi’s yard were also cared for properly, under the watchful eye of the Scargills.

All 11 horses have now been rehomed.

“This case is particularly tragic in that these animals were bred solely for the entertainment of people, and yet their neglect was among the worst I’ve ever seen,” said RSPCA inspector Chris Nice. “The magistrates clearly gave this case a lot of consideration as they recognised the seriousness of the situation, and Mr Mahdi is fortunate not to have been sent to prison. We are, however delighted with the lifetime disqualification order, which will ensure he is unable to cause suffering to horses in the future.”

News Update

On Thursday, 25 September 2003 The Jockey Club’s disciplinary panel disqualified Kamil Mahdi from being involved with racing for the next 10 years, effectively banning him from the sport.