Grand prix rider dressage Sam Duckworth in jail for horse neglect

  • A grand prix dressage rider who appeared “cavalier and boastful” in ignoring skilled recommendation as he precipitated struggling to younger horses has been imprisoned and banned from maintaining all animals for all times. H&H reported final month that Sam Duckworth, of Newmarket Street, Cambridgeshire, was discovered responsible of fees relating to 5 younger horses, at Kidderminster Magistrates’ Courtroom, after an 11-day trial.

    The 42-year-old was at present (6 December) sentenced on the identical court docket, for inflicting pointless struggling to 5 younger horses in his care by failing to research and deal with the reason for their poor physique situation and weight reduction, and for failing to take steps to satisfy the wants of the identical 5 horses, having failed to offer an enough parasite management plan, required farriery and an acceptable food regimen, and failing to hunt veterinary consideration in respect of the animals’ poor situation.

    The court docket heard the costs utilized from December 2020 to January 2021, when the horses have been seized by the RSPCA. District decide Ian Strongman stated the horses needed to be moved to the premises involved “in a little bit of a rush”. The supplier of the premises, Melvin Sanders, was then “put upon” by Duckworth to look after the horses.

    “[Mr Sanders] did so as a result of he felt for the animals and didn’t need to see them with out,” Mr Strongman stated. “Then Lauren Ball was introduced on board.”

    The court docket heard Ms Ball was extremely skilled however solely employed for an hour every day, “however she did an terrible lot of additional work as a result of she was involved for the horses’ welfare, and ignored directions from Mr Duckworth about feeding them,” Mr Strongman stated. “She felt they wanted extra feed, and however for her, the animals may have been in a worse situation.”

    Prosecutor Sara Pratt stated that of the 5 horses, one was owned by Duckworth, the others in his care. One has since died in RSPCA care, having grow to be unwell.

    She stated Mr Sanders was put able the place he felt he needed to look after the horses.

    “The prosecutions says Mr Duckworth ignored warnings {and professional} recommendation given to him,” she stated. “He was dismissive of the RSPCA and the recommendation he was given by RSPCA vets and his personal. We discover he failed correctly to observe recommendation on feed and worming.”

    Ms Pratt stated Duckworth additionally ignored warnings from Ms Ball and Mr Sanders in relation to the horses’ welfare, referring to messages thought of through the trial.

    She additionally referred to proof that the horses have been affected by malnourishment or a excessive worm burden, “or just not having the vitamin they wanted so that they have been metabolising their assets by way of muscle and tissue to remain alive”.

    The court docket heard the horses’ physique situation scores have been one at 0.5 on the 0-5 scale, three at one and one at 1.5, and Ms Pratt stated the prosecution needed him banned from maintaining all animals, not simply equids.

    “He displayed what may be known as a cavalier perspective to those horses in his care and didn’t observe recommendation given by professionals,” she stated. “He wasn’t somebody who was incapable of recognising the wants of horses and wasn’t unable to look after them.

    “He’s knowledgeable rider and the behaviour he seems to have displayed seems bordering on vanity, of figuring out higher than anybody, so we really feel this prone to prolong to different animals in his care. He’s merely unable to see his personal failings or observe recommendation.

    “In keeping with him, he had the monetary means to take care of the horses however merely selected to not.”

    Defence counsel Mr Jessop stated this case was critical however not as critical as many who come earlier than court docket.

    He stated the neglect of the horses was not extended; there was loads of proof between October 2020, when the horses have been first seen, and January, once they have been seized, that each Ms Ball and vets stated there was “ample hay, bedding and feed”.

    “For Lauren Ball, it may not have come rapidly sufficient typically however she stated to this court docket it at all times got here and he or she at all times had a response from [Duckworth],” he stated. “I took her via the messages and steered he wasn’t shutting his ears to her pleas for help, feed or hay, and he or she agreed he’d reply in the end; it was by no means going to be fast sufficient for her. Her proof helps this, that feed, bedding and hay have been equipped and the horses’ wants have been being handled. It’s not a case of whole non-action or ignorance of what’s gone on.”

    Mr Jessop stated Duckworth “didn’t attend a lot” however that this was throughout Covid, which restricted his potential to be on the premises.

    “The proof appears to counsel it wasn’t creeping struggling; it was extra complicated than that,” he stated. “They have been bettering for a time. Lauren Ball stated at Christmas just one appeared to drop and the others have been bettering. It seems deterioration might have occurred after that, when lots of the messages finish. There’s no proof of a excessive degree of struggling.”

    Mr Jessop stated there was no proof Duckworth didn’t worm, and that “he might not have finished sufficient but it surely’s not the case he didn’t interact in any respect with vets or these taking care of the horses”. He added that Duckworth did observe recommendation on feeding, and that he has labored with horses since he was 16 and had accountability for “most likely hundreds of horses”.

    “There was one incident in Germany that was utterly unrelated; till now by way of animal welfare, he’s a person of excellent character,” he stated.

    Mr Jessop stated Duckworth’s solely earnings was lower than £1,000 monthly from his dad and mom, however Mr Strongman rejected this, and wouldn’t permit Duckworth to elucidate, including: “I perceive he stated at any time, he had about 100 horses and breeding 60-80 foals a 12 months, which he presumably sells. I discover him an unreliable witness and I don’t assume something he may say would change my thoughts.”

    There was dispute over the possession of the horses however Mr Strongman stated that as he had not seen adequate proof to counsel in any other case, he dominated that every one belonged to Duckworth so a deprivation order was made on them.

    Sam Duckworth was given a right away 18-week jail sentence and ordered to pay £68,860 in prices, together with the care of the horses for the reason that seizure. He was banned from maintaining all animals for all times and can’t apply to reverse this for 5 years.

    “It’s a kind of instances the place applicable punishment can solely be achieved with a right away custodial sentence,” Mr Strongman stated.

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