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Horley horse owner loses ban appeal
1:50pm Wednesday 6th February 2013 in News
A horse owner from Horley, who was banned from keeping horses for five years, has lost her appeal against the ban. Christine Hawkins, 49, of Ash Road, had last October admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a bay colt called Tommy, and a grey roan colt called Yankee Doodle.
They had both become extremely thin in her care. Hawkins appealed at Maidstone Crown Court on Tuesday, January 29, on the grounds that horses were her livelihood as she was a saddler and a riding instructor. However, the judge dismissed her appeal and told her the fact she was an equine professional was an ‘aggravating feature’ of his decision to ban her. The judge also ordered her to pay a further £300 costs. Earlier, Dartford Magistrates Court had heard that when RSPCA inspector Liz Wheeler was called out, she found the bay colt was so thin that he could not stand. In fact, the magistrates were told, that for two weeks after being seized by the RSPCA, the horse had to be helped to its feet as it was so weak. The grey roan colt was also thin and weak and needed help. The RSPCA inspector said the two colts were “simply starving.” Both horses gained weight after being seized at the field in Horton Kirby, near Dartford in Essex, where they were being kept. Inspector Wheeler said: “There was no excuse for the neglect of these horses. “This woman was responsible for them and yet she didn’t ensure that they were given enough food, so they were simply starving.”
As well as her five-year ban, the Dartford magistrates ordered Hawkins to carry out 40 hours unpaid work and to pay £2,000 in costs.