Farrier broke hammer hitting horse nine times in ‘barbaric’ attack *Warning: upsetting footage*

  • A farrier who struck a horse nine times with a hammer during a “barbaric, unprovoked and prolonged attack” has been banned from keeping and working with animals for 10 years.

    Scott Manson, 34, of Whitecross Cottages, Bridstow, Ross on Wye, was sentenced at Cheltenham Magistrates’ Court on 20 March, having pleaded guilty to animal cruelty at an earlier hearing following an investigation and prosecution by the RSPCA.

    The court heard that on 1 April 2022, Manson lost his temper while shoeing a client’s horse and used his hammer to repeatedly strike him. Manson hit the horse, who was tied up, nine times during the “prolonged attack” that lasted six and a half minutes.

    An RSPCA spokesman said Manson initially claimed the horse had broken his hammer in a picture message sent to the owner, but wondering why the usually “docile” horse would have reacted in such a way, the owner decided to view the yard CCTV.

    “The footage showed Manson adopting an aggressive stance, and striking out with his hammer in his hand at the horse’s front legs,” said the spokesman.

    *Warning: upsetting footage below*

    “Upon checking the horse, the owner could see his right front leg was bigger than usual and there were various marks on both front legs and around the shin area. The hair had also been taken off and the shin exposed.”

    Solicitor Lindi Meyer represented the RSPCA in court and described what the specialist equine vet concluded in a report having viewed the footage.

    “[Manson] repeatedly beat the horse around the forelimbs where there is very little in the way of soft tissue covering and as such the blows were almost directly to the bone. This would have been incredibly painful for the horse and the farrier is very fortunate not to have caused fractures of any of the limbs,” she said.

    “The horse was hit nine times viciously in a six-and-a-half-minute video attack which left it with soft tissue swellings and cuts to the limbs. The attack was unprovoked, unacceptable and completely unnecessary and has caused this horse to suffer from both physical and psychological harm.”

    Ms Meyer added that “the abuse falls far below” what is expected of a human dealing with horses, “let alone a professional farrier who has been entrusted by the owners to take care of the horse”.

    “At no point was the farrier trying to teach the horse to stand still, pick its feet up or any other action. The actions were simply to beat the horse out of anger, a short temper, or frustration,” she said.

    “Whatever the reason, the actions were so barbaric and cruel that the farrier broke the head off a hammer on to the sensitive areas of the front limbs of the horse.”

    The court also heard that following the incident, the horse was reluctant for his owners to touch or brush his legs and when a new farrier came out the gelding was given sedatives from the vet to keep him calm on two occasions. He was also reluctant to go in his stable and was wary of people for a time, but is now “back to normal”.

    In mitigation it was said Manson is remorseful, and that he was stressed and was visiting his dying mother in Scotland twice a week at the time.

    Manson was given a 12-week suspended prison sentence and a 10-year animal ban, including working with animals, which he cannot appeal for the full 10 years.

    He was ordered to carry out 150 hours’ unpaid work and 20 rehabilitation activity requirement days. He must pay £400 costs and a £128 victim surcharge.

    A FRC spokesman told H&H the council is aware of the criminal conviction of Manson.

    “The conviction shall be subject to the statutory provisions of the council; it would, therefore, not be appropriate for the council to make any comment at this time.”

    You might also be interested in:

    Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday, is packed with all the latest news and reports, as well as interviews, specials, nostalgia, vet and training advice. Find how you can enjoy the magazine delivered to your door every week, plus options to upgrade your subscription to access our online service that brings you breaking news and reports as well as other benefits.

    You may like...