A man responsible for the “worst case of overgrown hooves” an RSPCA inspector had ever seen has been banned from keeping equines for five years.
Ian Morgan Bert Griffiths, of Berea, St Davids, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to five ponies, at Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court yesterday (25 September).
The 54-year-old admitted failing to provide hoof care to miniature Shetlands Tango, Titch and Tex and Welsh mountain ponies Tiggy and Pedro.
RSPCA inspector Nic De Celis visited Griffiths’ home in June this year.
“This was the worst case of overgrown hooves I’ve taken action on,” he said.
“What we were confronted with was five ponies with such overgrown and deformed hooves that two of them were reluctant to even stand, let alone walk.
“It is really sad that things had got to such an awful state and hadn’t been dealt with before things got so bad. It was revealed in court that it had been 10 months since the ponies were seen by a farrier.”
It is understood Griffiths’ wife had died in 2010, leaving him to run the family business and look after their three children, and that he was overworked as a result.
He was ashamed and remorseful about the ponies’ suffering. A farrier had visited the farm in August 2016 and had been due to return, but this arrangement had fallen through.
Shetland stallion Tex has recovered and the two Welsh ponies will be ready for rehoming soon, said an RSPCA spokesman. Having undergone farrier and vet treatment, Tango should be ready for rehoming soon but Titch is “making slow progress and is still not fully recovered”.
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Magistrates gave Griffiths an 18-week prison sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered him to complete 200 hours’ community service and pay costs of £300 and a victim surcharge of £150.
He was also banned from keeping horses for five years, with four weeks to rehome the two horses left on his farm.
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