A horse has been found dead in a field after being fed dry sugar beet by a well-meaning stranger, say Derbyshire Police.

Officers believe that Ebony, a white Welsh pony, was fed dry sugar beet taken from a shed at Wilne Road, Draycott, between 4 and 5 December.

Dry sugar beet pellets absorb moisture inside an animal and swell, which can prove fatal.

Sugar beet roots should be soaked before feeding, according to the manufacturer’s directions.

PC Tom Craig of Derbyshire Police, said: “It is a highly unusual incident and we think that whoever has done this thought they were being nice to the horse but unwittingly their actions ended up killing it.”

Anyone with information about the incident should call Derbyshire Police on 0345 123 33 33