A Hertfordshire horse owner has been found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to a pony, which died due to neglect. The trial took place at Hertfordshire Magistrates Court last Wednesday (16 April).

Wendy Hayes’ Champers — a Cremello mare — was in a state of severe emaciation when an RSPCA inspector visited last February. She was removed from the field in Hertford Heath on vet’s advice and died 2 days later following a prolapse.

The court heard that Ms Hayes, of Broxbourne, was an experienced horsewoman and stable owner who had given the pony to a friend. When the friend was unable to look after the pony, she had passed her back to Ms Hayes. Due to a dispute over the ownership, Ms Hayes admitted that she had not attended to her regularly.

Sentencing is expected on 19 May at Stevenage Magistrates Court. Under the animal welfare act, the maximum sentence is a £20,000 fine and/or up to 6 months in prison.