A man who kept 2 ponies and a number of pigs in a field of thick mud and rubbish has been found guilty of 5 charges relating to the proper upkeep of animals.

World Horse Welfare officer Rachael Andrews first visited the ponies after a member of the public called the charity. Ms Andrews tried to help the owner Michael Martin, improve the conditions.

Dougal at the scene

Dougal was 1 of the 2 ponies rescued

But Martin failed to improve the state the ponies were living in and, as their health deteriorated, the decision was taken to remove both the ponies.

The ponies were suffering serious worm burdens and the charity put in a successful application to take full possession of both animals.

Martin was charged with having hazards in the field where his animals were kept, with inappropriate housing and paddocks for horses and inappropriate feed due to mould.

He was found guilty of all 3 of the charges relating to the ponies and 2 of the charges relating to the pigs.

“I am very satisfied with today’s result because Mr Martin had been given plenty of advice on how best to keep his animals, but he repeatedly ignored the guidance I gave him,” said World Horse Welfare officer Rachael Andrews after the verdict.

“Only sometimes would he follow it, and then fall back to doing worse than before.”

The ponies, which were named Max and Dougal, have already been successfully rehomed with new families.

Max after his rehabilitation

Max after his rehabilitation

“Where these ponies were living was really miserable, but the best thing about this story is that all the animals have gone on to be successfully rehabilitated,” she added.

Martin is due to be sentenced next Tuesday (19 November).