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Charities praise decision - "justice done"

May 7, 2010

by Laurie Dixon

Justice has been done, says World Horse Welfare's chief executive Roly Owers, in commenting on the failure of the Gray family's appeals against conviction.

Owers says he is pleased the convictions have been upheld, saying his organisation has faced enormous costs - more than £110,000 - in caring for the 11 horses it took on from Spindles farm.

World Horse Welfare rescuers at work after removing horses from Spindles Farm.
"This was a simply horrific case, the worst in UK legal history, in which over 30 horses died.

"Thank heavens that after two long years, justice has been done and James Gray and his family have had their appeal against their convictions quashed.

"World Horse Welfare took in 11 of the Amersham horses and, like all of the charities involved, the cost to care for them over the last two years has been enormous," he said.

"Hopefully, depending on the outcome of next week's sentencing appeal, we can start to look for loving new loan-homes for them, where they can look forward to a happy life far removed from the one they experienced in the hands of the Gray family."

Britain's oldest equine charity, The Horse Trust, expressed its delight over the decision.

"We are delighted that the court has upheld the verdict," said Paul Jepson, chief executive and veterinary director of the trust.

"The last year has been very stressful for staff at the sanctuary as we were worried about what would happen to the horses we've been looking after if the conviction was overturned."

The Horse Trust is currently looking after two horses, six ponies and three donkeys from Spindles Farm at its Home of Rest.

The animals are now thriving, he said.

Gelding Disney weighed just 277kg when he arrived from Spindles Farm in January 2008. He had no interest in life when he arrived, simply standing in his stable with his head down, Jepson said.

Disney is now a healthy 591kg and loves cantering around the fields.

The Horse Trust has spent an estimated £200,000 over the last 27 months looking after the horses, ponies and donkeys from Spindles Farm.

This includes the cost of food, bedding, veterinary and farrier treatment.



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