A young rider is banned from owning horses after officials discovered she was riding a severely malnourished horse.
Facebook users came to the rescue of the severely malnourished horse after Charlotte McPhearson, the 22-year-old who owned the horse, named Thor, took a selfie of herself with the horse and posted it to the social media site.
Mcphearson's Facebook followers, who were appalled at the horse's poor condition, then reported the photos to animal charities.
McPhearson, who is from Kidderminster, Worcestershire, continued to ride Thor despite his poor weight and declining body condition. McPhearson rode Thor at a public event at Bissell Wood, Blakedown, in March, but she placed a quarter sheet over the horse's hindquarters, hiding most of his body from officials.
But when McPhearson posted photos of the horse on Facebook, there was no denying the fact that Thor was dangerously underweight. After receiving alerts about the photos of Thor, the RSPCA intervened, seizing the horse.
Thor, who is only 10, had a body condition score of zero, which means that the horse's condition was significantly dangerous to his health. RSPCA inspectors also discovered that he had sores on his back, meaning that he would have been in significant pain while being ridden. Thor was in need of veterinary care and treatment immediately.
McPhearson is facing consequences for her actions. She was charged with causing unnecessary suffering to Thor, since she did not investigate or treat his poor body condition and weight loss. Additionally, she continued to ride him even though he was in poor health, further causing him pain. McPhearson will not be allowed to own horses for the next 10 years.
She has also been given a 12-month community service order, during which she must perform 160 hours of community service. McPhearson also faces fines for her actions.
As for Thor? He's doing great. His weight loss was due to a significant internal parasite count. Thor was de-wormed, and within five months he has gone from being a severely malnourished horse to being a healthy horse in good weight.
Thor has been rehomed and is now with an owner who will ensure that his needs are always met.
All images: Telegraph.co.uk
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