A racehorse owner has been banned from keeping horses and fined £113,000 after he was found guilty of starving 22 thoroughbreds.
Ray Vardy kept his horses in a field in Huntington, York where there was no grazing, no shelter, no water and no food or water supplied.
The vets who examined the horses said that they were in such poor condition that they must have been neglected for months. Two had to be put down, as they were beyond help.
When the RSPCA seized the horses last June it took three days to remove them all as there were so many, and they were very nervous about being handled. One was so bad that he was injured while being rescued.
According to Vardy’s solictor, the builder had not intentionally neglected his horses, but as he was currently out of work he had no income.
“Animals are his life and his love,” he said. “Perhaps he has been unable to ask for help before, being a proud man, having the knowledge and expertise he has.”
Vardy pleaded guilty to two charges of neglecting a named horse as well as failure to provide suitable living conditions and to protect all of his horses from pain, injury and disease.
He was ordered to do 200 hours unpaid work and banned from keeping, transporting or trading horses for seven years. He also has to pay the charity’s costs of £113,154.16.