Watch: Shocking footage shows pony repeatedly whipped by owner
A man has been banned from keeping animals for five years after shocking footage showed him repeatedly beating a pony.
John Reid, 31, was filmed hitting the animal with a pole at least 15 times while saying: "It's gotta learn."
The incident was filmed by a member of the public in a shopping centre car park in Morecambe on 10 October last year.
The video led to a prosecution following an investigation by the RSPCA.
Reid was sentenced at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court after pleading guilty to two animal welfare offences, including causing unnecessary suffering by hitting his pony and for not meeting her needs.
Onlookers said they saw Reid hit his yearling filly called Pebbles forcefully with his arm raised above his head and he appeared to strike her every few seconds for several minutes.
A passer-by started to record the incident on her phone which occurred in the vicinity of Westgate.
The footage played in court showed Reid striking Pebbles at least 15 times with a blue plastic pole.
RSPCA inspector Will Lamping launched an inquiry and found Pebbles was underweight with prominent shoulders and backbone and her ribs visible.
The stable she was kept in was in a filthy state as the floor was covered in horse faeces and there was ivy, which is poisonous to horses, growing at the back.
Inspector Lamping said Pebbles had no clean area or bedding to stand on or any feed available to her.
She was also seen chewing the wood of her stable, which horses often do when they are not receiving adequate nutrition.
A vet attended and her report, which was submitted to the court, said: “The stable had no bedding in whatsoever.
"The floor was deep in wet and faeces, with a number of plastic bags also being present mixed into the faeces. This environment was completely unsuitable for a horse due to its unsanitary conditions.
“There was nowhere clean or dry for the horse to rest in comfort, or to protect it from the cold, hard stone floor”.
Pebbles was taken into possession by police and placed into the care of the RSPCA.
Mitigation was given in court that the conditions Pebbles was being kept in were only temporary and Reid was intending to sell her on.
Magistrates implemented the five-year ban, which he cannot apply to terminate for three years, and sentenced Reid to 10 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months.
He was also ordered to pay £200 costs and £128 victim surcharge.
After the sentencing hearing, Inspector Lamping added: “Reid’s actions caused Pebbles, pain, fear and both physical and psychological suffering.
"She was very young and as a yearling she required teaching to educate her rather than being reprimanded in such a way.
"By beating a pony in a way that causes fear and pain can ultimately affect how she learns and interacts with humans going forward.”
Reid transferred ownership of Pebbles over to the RSPCA who will now be able to continue her rehabilitation and find her a new home.
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