A woman who runs a horse and carriage service has been banned from keeping equines for life after pleading guilty to neglecting seven horses.

Beverly Knight, of York Avenue, East Cowes, appeared before Newport Magistrates yesterday (Wednesday, 26 August).

Knight pleaded guilty to charges under section 4 and section 9 of the Animal Welfare Act of failing to treat problems with the legs and feet of two horses and leaving the group of horses in unsanitary conditions.

She was also given an eight-week suspended sentence and ordered to complete 100 hours of unpaid work, as well as being fined £250.

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In March the RSPCA was called to the regal Osborne House Estate on the Isle of Wight, after members of the public raised concerns about the way horses being used for a horse and carriage rides to the house were being treated.

The service was being run by Knight, a contractor working for the historic site, and seven horses were being used to pick visitors up and take them to the house.

The RSPCA found the seven horses living in “unsuitable conditions” in stables that “had not been cleaned out for months”.

RSPCA IMGP0146Two Clydesdales, named Claude and Reilly, were underweight and covered in mites that had not been treated.

“These horses had been left to suffer living in awful conditions,” said RSPCA inspector Mark Buggie.

“One of the horses was even standing on top of a pile of muck so high that his head was in the rafters.

“The defendant cooperated fully with our investigation and obviously regrets that the situation became as bad as it did.

“This case is a reminder that owning animals can be a big responsibility, both financially and otherwise, and owners have to make sure they can provide for the needs of the animals dependent on them.”

All seven horses have now made a good recovery and have been rehomed by the RSPCA.