A woman has been banned from keeping horses after posting a smiling selfie next to a skeleton-thin horse.
Charlotte McPherson, 22, of Park Lane in Kidderminster, England, was sentenced for causing unnecessary suffering to the horse, named Thor, by failing to investigate and treat the cause of his poor body condition.
The alarm was raised after photos of the 10-year-old former-racehorse looking seriously underweight were posted on social media earlier this year.
The animal charity RSPCA was made aware and took swift action.
RSPCA inspector Suzi Smith said Thor's condition meant he was in a lot of pain. She explained,
Thor looked incredibly thin 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.
In addition to his condition, a vet determined he had not been wormed properly.
Smith said the road to recovery was slow, and he could not be adequately wormed until he put on weight. But over five months this summer, Thor made the weight gain and vets got the worm egg count down to zero. She added,
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.
McPherson pleaded guilty to the offenses at an earlier hearing in August this year.
She was handed a 10-year disqualification order and a 12-month community order. She was ordered to carry out 160 hours of unpaid work.
As for Thor, he's doing much better now: