Five-year ban and suspended jail term over horse care

A British woman has been banned from keeping horses for five years and given a suspended 10-week prison sentence after she admitted causing unnecessary suffering to two horses, named Ray and Hope. Both had to be euthanised.

Samantha Knight, 42, of Bainsbury View, Stratton-on-the-Fosse, admitted two charges of causing unnecessary suffering to the horses.

In addition to the ban and suspended sentence, she was also ordered to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work and to pay £2500 in costs.

Weston-super-Mare Magistrates’ Court heard on Friday that Ray, a chestnut gelding, was found collapsed and emaciated in a field off Wesley Avenue, Radstock, in March.

Hope, a black and white mare, had a large untreated wound on her neck. Both Ray and Hope had to be euthanised on veterinary advice.

Ray, lying in his field, was euthanised on veterinary advice. Photo: British RSPCA
Ray, lying in his field, was euthanised on veterinary advice. Photo: British RSPCA

The court heard that the defendant had been given advice by the RSPCA on a previous occasion about the condition of the horses.

RSPCA inspector Rebekah Jeffery said: “These horses had been left without enough food and Ray consequently collapsed due to his poor condition.

“We had given advice before as we always want to help where we can, but if advice is not followed we have no option but to take action to prevent other horses suffering in future.

“Owners have a responsibility to make sure that their animals receive adequate food and veterinary attention – it is simply not OK to allow them to suffer in the way that these poor horses did.”

Knight’s prison sentence is suspended for 12 months.


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