The RSPCA is warning of the dangers of tethering horses inappropriately after a Southampton man admitted causing unnecessary suffering to his filly.
The young mare was discovered with deep wounds around her neck caused by her chain collar.
Barrie James appeared at West Hampshire Magistrates’ Court earlier this week and pleaded guilty to allegations under the Animal Welfare Act.
He admitted failing to check and maintain a chain collar and tether around his dun filly called Jenso, which caused severe injuries under her chin and behind her ears where the collar had dug into her flesh.
The RSPCA had been called in May 2016 after concern about the filly. She was found in her fieldwith the injuries, after she had broken loose from the tether attached to her collar.
RSPCA inspector Penny Baker said: “This poor filly had outgrown the collar around her neck - and as a result it had dug deeper and deeper into her flesh causing this awful wound.
“The head collar had probably fitted when first placed around her, but as she grew it was far too small - about nine centimetres shorter than the width of her neck. It must have been so painful.
“The type of tethering used was extremely inappropriate and dangerous, especially as the collar was not changed once the young horse had outgrown it, but the defendant seems now genuinely remorseful as this case has made him realise how bad the wound was.
“Thank goodness we were called when we were, as any longer and the wound may have been difficult to treat.”
Barrie James was disqualified from keeping all animals for three years, made to pay £300 costs and do 180 hours unpaid work.
Inspector Baker added: “Sadly situations like this concerning fly-grazed and tethered horses are still far more frequent than we would like.
“The RSPCA does not agree with horses being tethered, but as in itself it is not against the law and we can't stop people doing it - but as this case shows it is extremely difficult to provide for tethered animals’ needs and very easy for them to be tethered inappropriately causing potential pain and suffering.
“We urge horse owners to be very careful when tethering their animals and ensure that only appropriate tethers are used.”
Jenso, now known as Pandora, was given a new home at World Horse Welfare’s Glenda Spooner Farm Rescue and Rehoming Centre in Somerset, where she made a full recovery.
Pandora is now looking for a home on World Horse Welfare’s Rehoming Scheme.
Glenda Spooner Farm Centre Manager, Claire Phillips said: “Pandora was in a terrible condition when she arrived with horrific injuries. Thankfully she has made a fantastic recovery and has not let any of her previous trauma affect her nature.
“She is a kind, willing pony who has a very bright future and we hope to see her make a lovely ridden pony in the right home.”
Anyone interested in rehoming Pandora should visit: http://rehoming.worldhorsewelfare.org/horseprofile/685