A man has been jailed for 8 weeks after his horse was found hanging by its neck off a cliff in Suffolk.

The animal had been tethered so near to the cliff edge that he fell over. He died from his injuries.

Sam Smith of Romany Lane, Kessingland, Lowestoft, was also banned from keeping animals for 15 years after admitting causing unnecessary suffering and failing to meet the welfare needs of a horse at Lowestoft Magistrates’ Court last week (23 October).

His piebald colt had been tethered close to the cliff edge near Pontins Pakefield Holiday Park in March.

On arrival, RSPCA Inspector Nicky Thorne thought the horse was dead and called Suffolk Fire and Rescue for help. But as she reached the horse she realised he was still breathing and cut him loose from his tether with her pocketknife. 

“This highlights just how dangerous tethering can be,” said Inspector Thorne.

“Dozens of people were involved in trying to save that poor little horse on a cold, wet and windy night — but just one person was responsible for leaving him tethered beside a steep cliff and then hanging by his neck over the edge.

“The prison sentence shows how seriously the court took this case and should act as a deterrent against the reckless use of tethers on horses left unattended like this.”

The horse was taken to Redwings, but was put down once he regained consciousness as his windpipe had collapsed.