A man who kept 58 ponies in appalling conditions on a farm in South Wales has been banned from keeping horses.

Brenig Hardacre, 46, was also given a 12-month community order for 200 hours unpaid work and ordered to pay £1,000 costs. He pleaded guilty to 30 animal welfare offences.

He appeared at Newport Magistrates court on 21 March.

The ponies were rescued by Redwings Horse Sanctuary after an investigation by Caerphilly Borough Council’s trading standards department in February and March 2013.

They were found with other animals including pigs, cows and sheep living in terrible conditions at Old Gelli and Lower Llanerch farms in Trinant.

Redwings took 51 ponies from the site and 13 foals have since been born. The 7 ponies in the worst condition were taken to HorseWorld in Bristol. All the ponies have made a full recovery, and have been offered a permanent home by the charities.

Jessica after being rescued by Redwings

Jessica after being rescued by Redwings

Redwings’ head of welfare Nic de Brauwere said: “This was a truly shocking case and we are delighted that justice has been done at last.”

He said the ponies were found starving and “queuing to die”. They were covered in lice, some were already dead, many more were dying.

“One elderly mare was on the verge of collapse and had to be supported and helped to stand for weeks afterwards because she was so weak. It was utterly unnecessary suffering,” he added.

Cllr David Poole added: “I am truly appalled that these animals could have been kept in conditions such as these. I commend our team of animal health officers and partners at various animal welfare organisations for their swift action action to protect these animals in need.”