It was obvious to those who saw the disturbing photos of rider Charlotte McPherson on social media at an equestrian event earlier this year, that her horse, Thor, was severely emaciated.
The RSPCA was made aware of these photos of the 10-year-old thoroughbred ex-racehorse, whose racing name was Hoare Abbey and McPherson aged 22, of Park Lane, Kidderminster, appeared at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court yesterday (December 6th) for sentencing.
Charlotte McPherson riding her horse, Thor, at an event where an exercise sheet masked how badly malnourished the animal was. CREDIT: CATERS
She was charged with two offences - that of causing unnecessary suffering to a horse by failing to investigate and treat the cause of his poor body condition, and failing to take steps to ensure that the needs of the animal were met, by failing to protect him from pain, suffering, injury and disease by riding him when he was not in a fit state to be ridden.
Having pleaded guilty to the offences at an earlier hearing in August this year, she was disqualified from keeping horses for 10 years and also given a 12-month community order, ordered her to do 160 hours of unpaid work and told her to pay £300 costs and a £60 victim surcharge.
“Thor looked incredibly thin", said RSPCA Inspector Suzi Smith "and you could see pretty much every bone in his body. It was obvious to anyone who saw him that he was not well. A vet examined Thor and gave him a body condition of zero out of five - he was that thin."
"While in this body condition, McPherson rode him twice a week, including at a fun ride in Bissell Wood, Blakedown, in March this year, where his condition was noticed by people at the event. Not only was he thin, but he had a sore on his spine which was directly underneath the saddle. Thor would have been in a lot of pain while he was being ridden.”
A vet examination of Thor showed that the cause of his weight loss was because of inadequate condition and a high worm egg count, as he had not been wormed properly.
Thor, in much better shape today © RSPCA
“It was a slow progress to get him on the road to recovery as he would not have survived a wormer straightaway due to the condition he was in, but within five months he had put on weight and been properly wormed, where he soon showed that he had a zero worm egg count,” said Inspector Smith. We are so thankful to the Retraining of Racehorses charity who assisted with the veterinary costs in this case, and also to everyone in ‘Team Thor’ who provided the care and attention he needed. Thor has done amazingly well and he has now been rehomed. He is loving his new life and when he trots across a field, you would find it hard to believe what he was like earlier this year.”
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