A man claiming to be a “horse whisperer” has been banned from keeping horses after some of his herd were found “emaciated” and “neglected”.

Raymond Sparks-Clark, of North Lane, Otherey, Somerset was convicted of three counts of cruelty to his herd.

He was sentenced last week (Thursday 21 January) at Taunton Deane Magistrates’ Court after a four-day long trial.

He was found guilty and banned from owning horses for four years as well as given a two year conditional discharge and ordered to pay costs of £400.

Popular articles

The RSPCA was called to the field where Sparks-Clark kept his horses on 14 February 2015. The investigating inspector found a “heart-breaking level” of neglect across a number of horses in the herd. The horses were starving, thin, covered in lice and very frightened.

A vet was called and due to the level of suffering the decision was made to remove three of the horses.

One of the horses, known as Pria, was so thin and unsteady on her feet that the inspector thought that she would collapse that day.

RSPCSA Sparks-Clark pic 4Less than a month later, the RSPCA received another complaint and visited the same field to find that more of Sparks-Clarke horses were at risk. A grey mare, called Lady, was found so emaciated and suffering with rain scald and an untreated leg injury that she was immediately removed on veterinary advice.

“When you take on the big responsibility of setting up a rescue or starting a business where animals are involved, a passion for animals as well as extensive knowledge of those animals, the law, and secure finances are the key to making things work,” said RSPCA inspector Marie Griffiths.

“Sadly in this case, despite many warnings and advice from the RSPCA and other official organisations, the defendant continued to fail to meet the basic needs of the animals in his care. People that are struggling must always ask for help as problems such as what was being experienced here just cannot be ignored.

“We are pleased with the outcome of this case and hope that this goes some way to educating people that animals like horses are a big responsibility and take a lot of time, effort, and money to care for. They are not a pet that should ever be taken on lightly.”