A woman who owned a sanctuary has been banned from owning horses for 10 years after she caused unnecessary suffering to a number of animals in her care.
Roberta Cleere, owner of The Second Chance Horse Rescue Centre in Cornwall, was found guilty this week of four counts of causing unnecessary suffering under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
Along with the ban, Ms Cleere was also handed a 24-week suspended prison sentence, 100 hours unpaid work and fined £1250.
The court heard how Roberta Cleere regularly ignored the advice of the RSPCA and failed to improve conditions for her horses.
Prince, pictured below, was one of the horses in Ms Cleere's care. He was found to have an injury to his leg that exposed the bone and a corneal ulcer in his eye. Ms Cleere was convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to Prince for failing to provide adequate veterinary care.
Ms Cleere also failed to investigate and treat two Shetland ponies, called Beau and Jess, who had poor body condition. Beau has since died from an infection and it's thought his poor condition left him unable to fight it off.
A horse named Sampson also suffered significant weight loss, which Ms Cleere failed to investigate.
RSPCA inspector Jon Phipps said: “There are no excuses at all for Ms Cleere’s actions. She is not a pony-mad teenager who was in above her head, she has more than 18 years experience as an equestrian and should have known better.
“Despite our help and advice, she allowed the ponies to suffer and as a result found herself before the courts, where she was convicted and sentenced for four offences.”
He continued: “Beau and Jess were both signed over to the RSPCA. Unfortunately Beau died of an infection - the tiny horse’s poor body condition made it impossible for him to fight it off.
“I’m pleased to say that Jess has been successfully rehomed, and as a result of the deprivation order we’ll now be able to find new homes for Sampson and Prince as well.”