06:05PM, Wednesday 24 March 2021
A Burnham man who left a horse suffering with infected wounds and split hooves has been sentenced following an RSPCA investigation.
Stephen Challis, 59, of Brickfield Lane, has also been banned from keeping horses for four years after his mare Bonny had to be put down due to her horrific injuries.
Former RSPCA inspector Rachel Smith said even from a distance she could see how thin Bonny was with her ribs, spine, hips and pelvis prominent.
She added: "She had a dirty bandage on her front left leg and her knee appeared swollen. Her hooves were long, with both front hooves split in several places indicating a lack of recent appropriate farriery care."
When a vet examined Bonny she removed the bandage and found an old infected wound that was 'green and smelt'.
"Despite receiving treatment for her emaciated condition and injury, Bonny deteriorated further and sadly a vet recommended it would be in her best interest to put her to sleep," Inspector Smith added.
Challis confirmed a vet had not attended the site for a 'long time' and said he trimmed Bonny's hooves himself.
He denied being the owner or person responsible for Bonny but accepted that he had acted as her carer for the past 15-20 years by way of his daily feeding and maintenance of her.
He was found guilty of three animal welfare offences on January 15 and sentenced today (Wednesday) at Reading Magistrates Court.
He was sentenced to 16 weeks imprisonment, suspended for one year and ordered to take 180 hours of unpaid work and told to pay £1,000 costs.
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