A 22-year-old man has been banned from keeping animals for life for the “extreme neglect” of two horses.

The horses — Homer, a young 12hh piebald colt and Bart, a ten-year-old 15hh skewbald gelding (pictured) — are now in the care of the International League for the Protection of Horses (ILPH).

Billy Stanford of Lingfield in Surrey appeared before Redhill Magistrates Court on Tuesday 4 March 2008 where he was given a life ban, a three month prison sentence suspended for 18 months and an 18 month supervision order.

He was ordered to pay costs of £1,000 and carry out 150 hours unpaid work to run concurrently with an order given at Sevenoaks Magistrates Court on 3 March 2008 for unrelated offences.

The Magistrate cited the extreme neglect of the horses as the reason for such a strong sentence and signed them both over into the permanent care of the ILPH.

On 19 March 2007 the ILPH was alerted to the plight of Stanford’s two horses following a telephone call for assistance from the RSPCA.

ILPH Field Officer Ted Barnes visited the premises on Ray Close off Lingfield Common Road with RSPCA Inspector Liz Wheeler where they found Homer and Bart.

Both were incredibly underweight and Bart was suffering from untreated mud fever on his legs.

On advice from an independent veterinary surgeon, the horses were seized and moved to a safe holding yard before being transported to ILPH Hall Farm in Norfolk.

Commenting outside Redhill Magistrates Court, ILPH Field Officer Ted Barnes said: “I am absolutely delighted with the outcome. This is an extremely fair and appropriate punishment.”

RSPCA Inspector Liz Wheeler said: “This is a very good and fair sentence and I am very pleased with the disqualification given. The seriousness of this offence is reflected in the sentence.”

Homer and Bart have thrived in ILPH care and will eventually be rehomed through the ILPH loan scheme.