A man has been jailed for drowning a horse at last year’s Appleby Horse Fair.

Ian Deer, 21, from Tottenham, London, was yesterday (13 March) jailed for 28 days and banned from keeping animals for five years for causing unnecessary suffering to the horse at Appleby Fair on Friday 8 June.

Carlisle Magistrates Court heard how bystanders watched in horror as Deer forced the horse into deep water where it struggled and drowned. He had bought the horse earlier in the day for £100 and intended to sell it later at the end of the fair.

District Judge Gerald Chalk said Deer had shown “manifest recklessness” when he led the horse into the River Eden during the second day of the horse fair.

He said: “You took this horse into the water in what must have seemed like an extreme sport. While I accept this was not done to kill the horse, your reckless conduct led to the horse’s distress and, ultimately, its death.”

Judge Chalk sentenced Deer to an additional 14 days in prison for missing an earlier court hearing, and another 14 days imprisonment for arriving two hours late for the sentencing (to run concurrently).

After the hearing, RSPCA inspector Sue Craig described the jail sentence as a “satisfying conclusion” to the case.