A British woman has been banned from keeping horses after she shared photos of herself riding a malnourished former racehorse on Facebook.
Charlotte McPherson, 22, shared a selfie of herself riding her horse, Thor, on her Facebook page. Several users noticed the horse’s ribs were all visible and reported the photo to Britain’s Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
The photo was taken at a public event, at which McPherson used an exercise sheet, intended to keep the horse warm, as a way to hide its protruding ribs.
In addition to the selfie, several official photos were released and reported to animal organizations by dozens of people.
The photos led to an investigation. According to The Telegraph, McPherson was later charged with causing unnecessary suffering by failing to investigate and treat the cause of the horse’s poor condition, and failing to protect the horse from pain, suffering, injury and disease by riding him.
“He was obviously unwell, and after a vet examined his body, his body condition was rated zero out of five because he was that thin,” RSPCA inspector Suzi Smith said. “McPherson continued to ride him twice a week in this condition, including at a fun ride in Bissell Wood, Blakedown, in March. 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.”
An examination revealed that Thor’s weight loss was caused by a high worm egg count from not being properly wormed.
McPherson has been banned from keeping horses for 10 years, reports Newsiosity. She will also complete 12 months of community service and has been fined $450.
Since being taken from McPherson, Thor has been receiving treatment. In five months, he has gained weight and has been properly wormed, leading to a zero worm egg count. He has a new home and is in much better health.
Sources: The Telegraph, Newsiosity / Photo credit: Daily Mail