Former primary school teacher denies punching and kicking horse

Sarah Moulds appeared in court. Credit: PA

A former primary school teacher has indicated she will plead not guilty to animal cruelty charges after she was accused of punching and kicking a horse.

Sarah Moulds, from Leicestershire, was summonsed to court after footage was shared online showing a woman repeatedly slapping the animal when it ran into the road.

Appearing at Boston Magistrates’ Court on Monday, the 37-year-old spoke only to confirm her name, address, date of birth and her indicated not guilty pleas during a 10-minute hearing.

Moulds is accused of two offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 against a grey pony named Bruce Almighty.

The RSPCA allege she caused unnecessary suffering to Bruce Almighty by “kicking and hitting” him, and for not taking reasonable steps to protect the animal from pain, suffering, injury or disease.

Both of the alleged offences occurred on November 6, 2021 in the vicinity of The Drift, Gunby, Lincolnshire.

Sarah Moulds leaving Boston Courthouse in Lincolnshire after pleading not guilty to two counts of animal cruelty. Credit: PA

At the time of the alleged incident, Moulds was participating in the Cottesmore Hunt, one of Britain’s oldest foxhound packs.

The footage of the alleged incident was investigated by the RSPCA after anti-hunting activists, the Hertfordshire Hunt Saboteurs, posted it to Twitter.

The animal charity described it at the time as “really upsetting” and urged anyone with information to come forward.

Granting Moulds unconditional bail, chair of the bench of magistrates Helen Brown said: “Ms Moulds, you have elected to go for trial at the crown court.

“That will be for a pre-trial and preparation hearing. In the meantime you are granted unconditional bail.”

Moulds, of Somerby, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, will appear at Lincoln Crown Court for a plea hearing on February 28.