Bans for men who beat horse who collapsed while pulling a cart in Crewkerne

By The Editor

7th Oct 2022 | Local News

Dy can now be rehomed
Dy can now be rehomed

Two men have been banned from keeping horses after being found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering, following an investigation and prosecution by the RSPCA.

Kieran Ashley Hodges (date of birth: 16/12/1983) of Cowen Close, Crewkerne and Haron Reginald Cooper (date of birth: 31/12/1995) of Furland Road, Crewkerne were sentenced when they appeared before Yeovil Magistrates Court on Tuesday, 4 October.

The animal welfare charity was contacted by police on April 2 last year after concerns had been raised by a member of the public who had seen the two men with a horse and cart on the B3168 Ilminster to Curry Rival Road.

The eyewitness, who had been driving by at the time, saw the two men with a horse which was attached to a small grey trotting trap.

She said: "They were pulling the horse from side to side very aggressively from her bridle. From owning horses myself, I knew from the body language of the horse that she was traumatised. The horse's feet were planted firmly on the floor, legs were straight, head was positioned to the sky and her eyes were bulging and she looked totally exhausted and appeared like she would not move another step.

"I pulled my car to the side of the road and watched in horror as these two men beat this poor horse. Both were pulling at the horse trying to get her to move and both were hitting the horse and were very angry with her. They were shouting at the horse whilst they were hitting her with their hands.

"I saw the horse rear up in the air and come down on the road, collapsing onto her right hand side. The horse stayed on the road, and didn't move nor did she return to her feet. Both males started to kick the horse really hard in the body and head whilst screaming aggressively at her to get up."

Dy, a piebald cob mare, was found to have a cut between her front legs, approximately 2 cm long and another deeper, larger cut on the left elbow. There were abrasions on the corner of the mouth on both sides and bruising on the lower gums on each side of the mouth and a dark mark and swelling over her ribs on her right hand side.

An equine specialist vet, who had spent more than 20 years experience treating horses, examined Dy and found that her injuries were consistent with falling to the ground, rough rein handling, and bruising from the shaft of the cart.

Cooper was disqualified from keeping all equines for ten years, in an order he can not appeal for five years. He was also ordered to carry out 300 hours unpaid work and 30 rehabilitation activity requirement (RAR) days and must pay £800 costs and a £95 victim surcharge. The court also deprived Cooper of the ownership of Dy, who has been cared for by the RSPCA since she was seized by police in April 2021. She can now be rehomed.

Hodges was disqualified from keeping equines for five years and can not appeal for the disqualification to be lifted for three years. He was also ordered to carry out five rehabilitation activity requirement (RAR) days. Hodges was also ordered to pay a £180 fine, £95 victim surcharge.

The offence:

1. "That on 2nd April 2021 on the B3168 Ilminster to Curry Rival Road, did cause unnecessary suffering to a certain animal namely a piebald cob mare known as Dy, by doing one or a combination of acts namely overexerting the said animal leading to muscle exhaustion, using excessive force on the horse's bridle causing injury to its mouth, by the infliction of physical violence upon the animal by way of hitting and kicking it and you knew or ought reasonably to have known that your acts would have that effect or be likely to do so, contrary to Section 4, Sub section 1 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006".


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