Woman sentenced after horse found starving and suffering on Somerset smallholding

Murphy was found in extremely poor condition. Credit: RSPCA

A Somerset woman who left a starving horse to suffer has been banned from keeping horses for 10 years.

Katrianna Jade Rich, 29, of Lower Peasedown in Peasdown St John, pleaded guilty to animal welfare offences following an investigation by the RSPCA.

She was sentenced before Bath Magistrates Court on Wednesday 9 August.

The court heard how Rich, who ran a small holding with a number of horses, sheep and goats, was visited by inspectors in February after welfare concerns were raised.

Inspector Hatfield, who investigated for the animal welfare charity, said: “I could still easily see his hip bones sticking through the rugs, appearing in really poor body condition and once the rugs were removed you could see just how poor bodily condition he was in.

"You could see his ribs, hips and spine easily and he stood there with his head stooped down looking extremely depressed and you could see the dips in the side of his head.” 

Credit: RSPCA

A vet was called to examine Murphy, who's body condition score was just 0.5 out of 5.

He also had poor feet with overgrown hooves which were impacted with debris, including embedded stones. He also had poor dental health which included a fractured tooth.

He was certified as suffering by the vet and was taken into possession by police and passed into the care of the RSPCA where he quickly regained a healthy weight.

Alongside the ban, which she can not appeal for 10 years, Rich was also ordered to carry out a nine week curfew and pay £400 costs.