William Chandler, from Kingston-upon-Thames in Surrey, was convicted for causing unnecessary suffering to a chestnut stallion in his possession at Staines Magistrates Court, Surrey.

He was banned from owning horses for the next three years and was ordered to pay costs of £329. A court order was made for the surrender of the stallion and his gifting to the ILPH.

Ted Barnes, ILPH Field Officer for South London, Kent and Surrey, was delighted by the outcome stating, “It is a warning to horse owners everywhere of what can happen if they allow their horses to get into such a poor state.”

The successful prosecution is the culmination of nearly 10 months of work by the ILPH, who first inspected the stallion last July after a concerned member of the public made a complaint.

The stallion was found in a field near Sunbury, Surrey, in an extremely thin state. With the help of a local vet and police, the ILPH removed him to Cherry Tree Farm, their recovery and rehabilitation Centre, near Lingfield, Surrey.

DC Mary James of Staines CID, who presented police evidence against the defendant, William Chandler, said after the conviction :

“I and PC Charles Foster who was also involved were happy that we were able to assist the ILPH in this matter, as unlike the RSPCA, the organisation is not able to prosecute without the assistance of the police and the Crown Prosecution Service.

“The successful prosecution was due to theprofessional and thorough way the ILPH field officer and the veterinary surgeon dealt with the case.

“Surrey Police take seriously all allegations of cruelty to animals, but do not have the extensive facilities of the ILPH to deal practically withthe consequences of seizing horses which are suffering. The nursing and care of the horse at Cherry Tree Farm was first class.

“I have no doubt that this conviction will send a clear message to all animal owners in Surrey. Where there is evidence of neglect or cruelty, police will act.”

The 15hh stallion, believed to be in his mid-20s, has been named Sunbury. Since joining the ILPH Sunbury, who has settled in well, has doubled his body weight and has become everybody’s favourite.

Ted Barnes said: “For an animal that has suffered so much at the hand of man he is incredibly trusting, it is unbelievable. He really is a star, a wonderful ‘person’ to have around and a perfect gentleman to ride.”