Horse with broken leg left untreated for nearly eight weeks

  • A man who ignored vets’ advice and left a horse with a badly broken leg to suffer for weeks has been sent to prison.

    His 11-year-old gelding was found unable to bear weight on the affected leg, with pressure sores from lying down, and muscle wastage. He had been left to suffer for nearly eight weeks, and X-rays later showed a bone was in three pieces.

    Ian Reidy, of Springfield Avenue, Hereford, was jailed for 12 weeks and given a lifetime ban on owing equines, which he may not appeal for 10 years, at Hereford Magistrates’ Court on 2 March. The 41-year-old had pleaded guilty to one welfare charge.

    RSPCA investigator Suzi Smith went to visit the horse on 19 September last year, after a member of the public called to raise concerns.

    Reidy had left the 11-year-old Brownie with a broken leg since 26 July.

    Ms Smith said: “Initially, it appeared Brownie had collapsed. He seemed unable to get up. The foot was worn at the toe from the continued dragging of it over the weeks. He was wearing a thick rug in warm weather.

    “Once we got him up, he was non-weight-bearing on the front leg. Upon removal of the rug it showed he was underweight with muscle atrophy to the broken leg where the muscle had wasted away over the weeks from his inability to use the leg. He had a pressure sore on his hock from the excessive time he had been spending lying down due to the pain.”

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    Brownie was taken to an equine clinic in a specialist ambulance but vets found his injury too severe to treat and the horse was put down.

    “Reidy had called a vet when the injury occurred but refused to follow their advice, and put them off when they called to request a check-up of Brownie on 11 occasions, instead telling them he was getting better, rather than seeking the help Brownie desperately needed,” Ms Smith said.

    Reidy said he had been led by his emotions, and wanted Brownie to survive.

    The court also made a seizure order on Reidy’s other horses but was told he had already given them away.

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