Man banned from keeping animals after starving his ponies

  • A man has been banned from keeping animals for five years after one dead and two starving ponies were found in his care.

    Nick Hayes, 24, of Gosberton Clough, Lincolnshire, was convicted of causing unnecessary suffering at Spalding Magistrates Court, Lincolnshire on 7 November. He was also sentenced to a nine-month community order.

    His case involved two very underweight ponies, one of which nearly died.

    World Horse Welfare and Trading Standards investigated after receiving calls from a member of the public in February.

    They found one dead pony and two emaciated ponies on the site in Lincolnshire.

    World Horse Welfare chief field officer, David Boyd, said: “Both had a fat score of 0.5, whereas the ideal is 3. Both ponies were suffering and were underweight and very dehydrated when I inspected them.”

    Elle May, a bay mare and Nico (pictured), a grey gelding were signed over to World Horse Welfare and taken to their Hall Farm rescue centre in Norfolk.

    Lizzie Hunt, yard supervisor, said: “Two days after Nico came to Hall Farm, he collapsed because he was so poorly.

    “It was touch and go for him for a while. Thankfully by the end of February he had picked up and was looking stronger.”

    Nico weighed 143kg when he was brought in — he now weighs around 260kg.

    Ms Hunt added: “They must have been really starved to have lost so much weight and been so poor, as they now tend to hold their weight so well and are such good doers that we have to control their diets carefully.”

    New homes will be sought for the ponies when they are healthy enough to leave the farm.

    Nico has poor conformation, so will be rehomed as a companion pony.

    Elle May might be able to go on for ridden work once she has completed her rehabilitation, said Ms Hunt.

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