A pony has been removed by police after a video of its being mounted by a man and falling backwards to the ground caused widespread outrage on Facebook.
The footage, posted on social media this weekend, showed the coloured horse, thought to be a youngster, in what appears to be a back garden, in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.
The pony can be seen held by the nose while man clambers on to its back, and laughter can be heard in the background.
Once the man is on board, he can be heard to say “I’ve got it, I’ve got it,” to more laughter. The pony then rears, falling over backwards into bushes in the corner of the garden. More laughter follows.
The video was posted publicly on Facebook and widely shared, sparking outraged comments.
Kent Police announced yesterday that it had seized the pony, and that it was “safe from harm”, while the RSPCA investigates. A police spokesman told H&H the pony was picked up at about 12.30am, after it had been reported wandering in the road.
An RSPCA spokesman said: “We are aware of this situation. Unfortunately we are unable to discuss complaints about specific people and what action may have been taken.
“We understand how frustrating that is for animals lovers but releasing information could prejudice a future prosecution or could lead to us being fined.
More than 16,000 people have signed an online petition calling for the girl to be charged with animal abuse
‘The FEI is looking into it and is currently collating a dossier of evidence’
“We are so grateful to people who report suspected animal suffering to us and we would like to reassure people we will always look into and, if necessary, investigate any complaints made to us about animal welfare.
“A lot of the time issues will be dealt with by advice and education and it is not always appropriate to publicise this information for legal reasons.”
For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.