Ban for breeder too proud to ask for help as horses suffered

  • A breeder who left horses to suffer in “dreadful conditions”, one with a tooth growing through his cheek, and whose pride prevented her from asking for help has been given a lifetime ban from owning equines.

    Jane Moore, of Jemoon Stud Farm, Long Lane, Market Weighton, East Riding of Yorkshire, was also given a 20-week prison sentence, suspended for two years, when she was sentenced at Hull Magistrates’ Court on 17 January. The 66-year-old had pleaded guilty to 10 offences of causing unnecessary suffering to 17 horses and one charge of failing to meet the needs of 36 equines.

    RSPCA inspector Natalie Hill went to Moore’s stud on 14 February last year, with a World Horse Welfare representative, after welfare concerns had been raised.

    “Because of the inspector’s concerns about the condition of the horses, an equine vet was called to the site,” an RSPCA spokesman said. “One horse was in such a poor state of health that the vet had to put him to sleep immediately to end his suffering. Three other horses were euthanised two days after the original visit, while six other horses were seized from the farm on the first visit.”

    In a statement to the court, Ms Hill said all the horses were living in very dirty stables with little food or water.

    “They all had overgrown hooves and they were in poor body condition,” she said. “Within one stable block there was a very strong smell of urine and the horses’ rugs were found to be very dirty and extremely heavy. It appeared to me that all the horse stables had not been cleaned in some time and on some horses their feet were very long and overgrown.”

    The court heard that at the time of the visit, the defendant was in hospital and had left the horses to be cared for by friends. But it became clear they would be unable to meet the needs of the horses still on site, so all the equines were removed by 22 February.

    “A vet’s expert report presented to the court concluded that Moore had failed to ensure a suitable environment for her equines, failed to provide adequate veterinary care and failed to ensure they were kept in a healthy body condition,” the RSPCA spokesman said. “Of the 36 horses, 22 were underweight and most were suffering from dental issues and overgrown hooves, while three had lice and mite infections.

    “The vet said Moore had also failed to take action to euthanise unwell animals when she had been advised to. A stallion called Puzzle Pic ‘n Mix was in a very poor body condition and suffering from a prolapsed penis and severe dental issues. A vet who visited the farm in December 2022 advised the defendant the kindest course of action would have been to put him to sleep if his condition failed to improve.”

    The spokesman said an older Cleveland Bay mare, Earlswood Traveller, was lame in all four legs, with a lice infestation and dental disease, and an elderly bay gelding called Spadge was also lame and had a sinus cyst. Heidi, a mare who was also lame, was put down two days after the inspector’s initial visit owing to her suffering.

    Six more horses were put down in the months after the RSPCA’s visit, the spokesman added, as their health was so poor.

    “Moore cited her lack of finances as reasons some of the health problems were not addressed,” the spokesman said. “But the expert vet said that an owner with little or no help, like the defendant, would not have been able to manage such a large group of horses.

    “The vet said the surviving horses require specialist ongoing care and it was not in their best interest, or that of the owner, for them to return to the stud farm. Moore has since signed all the remaining equines over into the care of the RSPCA.”

    In mitigation, the court heard Moore was “no longer up to the task of looking after such a large number of horses”, that she was isolated and lonely after a marriage break-up and the loss of her parents, and her pride had prevented her from asking for help.

    The chairman of the magistrates told Moore: “This was a case where these animals were so obviously struggling that intervention was obvious and necessary. The fact that it was not forthcoming was down in large part to your own pride and your refusal to ask for help.”

    Moore was banned from keeping equines for life, ordered to pay £13,099.27 in court costs and a victim surcharge of £154.

    After the hearing, Ms Hill said: “These horses were found in dreadful conditions with multiple health problems. They were being kept confined to their stables for long periods and it appeared they were rarely exercised.

    “One sadly had to be put to sleep on the day we first visited, although that course of action had been recommended by a vet several months before. There were several other horses in very poor health too, including one whose teeth had grown through his cheek and was in a lot of pain and discomfort.

    “In all 10 of the 36 horses have had to be put to sleep and the others have got long-term health issues from being neglected for such a long time, such as ligament and joint problems, that only a small number will be able to be rehomed.”

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