A horse owner from Morecambe has lost her appeal for a reduction of her 15-year ban on keeping horses, which started three months ago.

Last November, Diane O’Sullivan of Cartmel Place, Morecambe, pleaded guilty at a hearing at Lancaster Magistrates Court to a charge of causing unnecessary suffering to a pony through her failure to provide veterinary and parasite treatment.

Ms O’Sullivan was also ordered to pay £3,421 in costs, at £10 a week.

In February 2010, two welfare officers from World Horse Welfare and the RSPCA, viewed Ms O’Sullivan’s piebald colt, Rocky, at a livery yard in Morecambe after a tip-off from a member of the public.

Rocky was emaciated and unable to stand.

He was transported to World Horse Welfare’s Penny Farm Recover and Rehabilitation Centre near Blackpool.

Vet David Catlow of Oakhill Veterinary Centre said: “Tests showed that he had a very severe parasite infection, internally and on his skin —they were literally sucking the life out of him.”

Ms O’Sullivan was told, at Preston Crown Court on 11 February, that the 15-year ban would remain.

However, her costs were cut to £1,500 after the court heard that the mother-of-one was on benefits and would be unlikely to pay in reasonable time.

This is her second ban on keeping horses — the previous one finished in August 1998.

After the hearing, World Horse Welfare field officer Chris Williamson said: “We are pleased with the outcome as Rocky was found to be in a terrible state.

“It means that Rocky, as well as another horse found at the site, can now be signed over to WHW and we can ensure that they have a happy future in new homes, where they will be cared for as they should be.”