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Ten-year ban for owners who neglected eight horses

A man and woman from Blackpool have been banned from keeping horses for 10 years after allowing eight horses to become thin, with worms and overgrown feet.

Sabrina Willey and Phillip Gee, both of Loftos Avenue, were sentenced at Blackpool Magistrates Court on 20 February.

They had both pleaded guilty to:

  • causing unnecessary suffering to six horses by failing to investigate and address the causes of their poor body condition and weight loss
  • failing to meet the needs of eight horses by failing to protect them from pain, suffering, injury or disease by failing to provide internal parasite treatment
  • failing to meet the needs of eight horses by failing to protect them from pain, suffering, injury or disease by failing to ensure they received adequate and appropriate hoof care
  • failing to meet the needs of eight horses by failing to provide a suitable environment.The horses were kept in a field on Skippool Road, Thornton in July and August 2012.

    RSPCA inspector Mandi Taylor said: “This was a very frustrating case for all involved.

    “These horses were moved from several previous locations before eventually turning up at Skippool Road, which was equally unsuitable due to hazards like ragwort and the lack of grazing.

    “We tried really hard to work with Ms Willey and Mr Gee but they continued to ignore our advice until eventually the condition of the horses deteriorated and they were removed. They had chance after chance but didn’t take them.”

    And World Horse Welfare’s field officer John Cunningham added: “We hoped the condition of these horses would pick up when they arrived at Skippool Road but they continued to deteriorate and Ms Willey was not caring for them.

    “There was an on-going failure to provide proper care and it reached the point where removal of the horses was the only viable avenue available to us.”

    The horses were removed by police on veterinary advice and placed in the care of the RSPCA and World Horse Welfare on Tuesday 21 August 2012.

    As well as their bans, Willey was also given an 18-month supervision order and Gee was given a 12-month supervision order with 150 hours of unpaid work.

    They were deprived of the three horses not already signed over to the charities and ordered to pay £1,000 costs each at £10 a week.

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