Charities take on eight horses after courts decide woman is banned from keeping equines for life

22/08/2013

A Buckinghamshire woman was disqualified from owning or keeping equines for the rest of her life after she severely neglected horses in her care. [Image credited to RSPCA]

RSPCA image of Elsie

This month, on August 19th at Slough Magistrates’ Court, the decision was made that Lynette Chamberlain “should be disqualified for the rest of her life” from having anything at all to do with equines after she made an early guilty plea.

Although Lynette only received a conditional discharge, the fact that the magistrates made it clear to her that she was banned from owning all equines for the rest of her life was the best result possible for World Horse Welfare, the RSPCA and any other horses that she may have chosen to take on.

The three Shetlands from this prosecution case were signed over to the RSPCA plus another due to their collapsed and emaciated state. After much deliberation, Lynette eventually instructed her solicitor to sign the rest of her horses over to the RSPCA, allowing them to then sign four horses into the care of Britain’s largest horse rehoming charity, World Horse Welfare.

The horses awarded to World Horse Welfare are; Cookie, a dark bay gelding at 14.1 hands high in poor body condition; Holly, a light chestnut mare at 10 hands high; Princess, a 12 hands high fleabitten grey mare and a spotted roan mare called Bailey.

As far back as 2009, World Horse Welfare Field Officer, Nick White had been trying to help and advise Miss Chamberlain, alongside the RSPCA to improve the way she had been keeping her horses.

RSPCA Inspector, Tina Ward says: “She probably started out with the best intentions when she started "rescuing" equines but certainly did not have the knowledge, time or physical capability to care for them.”

Nick White explains the process he went through with the defendant.

He says:

“Along with the RSPCA I had tried to encourage Lynette Chamberlain to reduce the number of horses she owned, she had been given veterinary advice and support throughout.”

As an initial step, World Horse Welfare took on three horses previously from Miss Chamberlain after she’d agreed to sign them over in order to help reduce the number of horses she owned.

Nick continues:

“As we continued to monitor the situation and despite our advice, the number of horses in her possession seemed to increase and sometimes the condition of the animals and the conditions they were living in fell short of the required standards and warning notices were issued to her.”

In February 2013 three of her ponies were found in an emaciated condition in a field in Burnham, Bucks, these were the equines that would result in her prosecution.

When found they required urgent veterinary care and were removed to a place of safety where they are still recovering under veterinary supervision.

The first of the three to be found was skewbald Tilly, only 6-9 months old. She was diagnosed with body condition score 0.5 out of a possible 5, meaning she was severely underweight.

The second was piebald Daisy, she again was only 9 months old and was also underweight.

The third, Elsie, was in by far the worst condition of all, at just 3-6 months old she scored 0 out of 5 for body condition which is emaciated. This little mare was found collapsed.

Elsie had to undergo a plasma transfusion, be given intravenous fluids and had to be aided with a heat source as she was unable to maintain her own body heat. Weighing only 36kgs she was roughly the same weight as a grown Labrador.

Elsie RSPCA imageTina is sure that without help, this little one would have died. [RSPCA image]

She says:

“I am convinced that the person who found Elsie on the floor saved her life.  She lifted her with another member of public and kept her going until the vet and I arrived.  All three had to be carried onto the transporter as they were in such a state.

“What’s more disappointing and extremely sad is that Miss Chamberlain bred two of the ponies related to this case."

Nick White gives a final comment on the verdict of this case:

He says:

“This is a typical case and something which I see all too often. People take on too many horses, buying and breeding from them without having enough money or time to support them. Owning one horse is a costly and time consuming commitment, at one time Lynette had as many as twenty five horses. I have serious concerns about her ability to look after horses properly and I think the magistrates made a wise decision in disqualifying her for life.”

Tina ended with: “It’s good to work together and I always appreciate the help of World Horse Welfare with cases like these.”

The four horses signed over to World Horse Welfare will be transported to the charity’s Hall Farm in Norfolk today (22nd August) where their rehabilitation process will begin.