Two show judges will have their horses returned to them – despite being ordered to pay thousands of pounds for causing suffering to the animals.
The RSPCA appealed to a district judge sitting at Dartford Magistrates’ Court last month to impose a deprivation order or ban Graham Hasemore and his two sons – both of whom are judges with the Shire Horse Society (SHS) – from keeping animals, but it was refused.
Retired Graham Hasemore, 65, transport supervisor Simon Hasemore, 35, and farmer Kevin, 29, all of Malling Road, Snodland, Kent, were found guilty of causing suffering to four shire horses. They were ordered to pay a total of £42,000 in fines and costs.
Summer Lady and Holly, both bay mares, Twinkle, a brown mare, and Dandy, a roan gelding, were underweight, lame and suffering from skin conditions when they were seen by the RSPCA. They were found at Millfield Farm, in Holborough Road, Snodland, in June 2011.
RSPCA inspector Andrew Kirby said: “These men should know better – they are heavily involved with the shire horse world. But instead of getting proper vet treatment for these horses they tried to treat them themselves and caused the horses to suffer.”
Three of the horses recovered in RSPCA care but 24-year-old Holly was put down on veterinary advice.
When the case was heard on 25 September, the district judge did not ban the Hasemore’s from keeping horses, so the RSPCA will have to return them to the family.
A spokeswoman for the RSPCA added: “To have to give the horses back to these people who caused them suffering is of course heartbreaking for us.”
SHS told H&H that Graham Hasemore is a member of the Shire Horse Society but not registered as an owner, Simon is a full panel judge and Kevin is on the in-hand panel and is currently on the society’s council.
David Ralley-Davies, secretary of SHS, said they had written to the men and were awaiting a response.
He added: “The Shire Horse Society rules are perfectly clear; cruelty to a horse, neglect, mistreatment, abandonment or otherwise abusing a horse will not betolerated and such cases are treated with the utmost magnitude by the Shire Horse Society Council.”