A horse owner from Norfolk has been banned from keeping all equines for 10 years following a conviction at Great Yarmouth Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday 7 September.

Michael Balls, from Horning, near Norwich, was also sentenced to 100 hours of community service, a 12-month supervision order and ordered to pay £500 in costs.

His 13-year-old black Shetland pony, now named Jack, was found to have severe laminitis, badly overgrown feet and sweet itch when he was discovered at a site in Happisburgh, Norfolk, during May 2011 by a member of the public.

Redwings field officer Julie Harding found him lying down and in severe pain whenever he tried to stand.

Jack was removed from the site immediately and was taken to Redwings Reception Centre in Norfolk for emergency care.

He was given pain relief and fitted with specialist shoes after x-rays.

Redwings vet Nicolas de Brauwere said: “This was a very severe case of laminitis which had clearly been left untreated by the owner, and was causing Jack intense pain.

“Although he has some ongoing issues with lameness as a result of the laminitis he is making good progress and we are confident he will make a full recovery.

RSPCA inspector Ben Kirby said: “This was a substantial disqualification and we are satisfied with the result.”

A second pony owned by Mr Balls will also be taken into the care of Redwings Horse Sanctuary later this week.