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An author who has written several books about equine care and behaviour has appeared in court charged with causing unnecessary suffering to four horses.

Lesley Skipper, 60, and her husband Brian, 55, pleaded not guilty to the charges at Darlington Magistrates Court on 13 February. Mrs Skipper’s books include Understanding Horse Behaviour and Realise Your Horse’s True Potential.

RSPCA inspector Gary Palmer told the court that when he visited the Skippers’ stables in June last year, he found horses kept in stables piled high with old bedding.

“They were so raised up in the stables that their heads were nearly touching the ceilings,” he said.

The court heard that three of the animals had to be put down. The case was adjourned until 29 February.

This news story was first published in the current issue of H&H (23 February 2012)