John Reid was filmed hitting the black female horse, named Pebbles, for at least 15 minutes with a blue plastic pole in a supermarket car park
A man who was filmed beating a pony in a supermarket car park has been banned from keeping animals for five years.
John Reid, 31, from Morecambe, was caught hitting the one-year-old black female pony, named Pebbles, repeatedly for several minutes with a blue plastic pole.
According to the RSPCA, he was heard saying “she’s got to learn” as he struck the horse at least 15 times, Manchester Evening News reports.
The animal charity launched an investigation after Reid was recorded by a member of public beating the pony on October 10 last year.
Witnesses described how Reid struck Pebbles “forcefully” with his arm raised above his head, the RSPCA said.
Will Lamping, a RSPCA inspector, paid a visit to the stable Pebbles was being kept at, and found the floor covered in horse faeces and ivy – which is poisonous to horses – growing at the back.
He found Pebbles underweight with her shoulders and backbone prominent and visible ribs.
The inspector said she had no clean area or bedding to stand on, and no feed available to her, and was seen chewing the wood of her stable, which horses often do when they are not receiving adequate nutrition.
A report from the vet, 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.
In mitigation, the court heard that the conditions Pebbles was being kept in were only temporary as Reid was intending to sell her on.
Reid pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering by repeatedly beating his pony and not meeting her needs.
He was sentenced to a 10-week jail term suspended for 12 months at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday and has been banned from keeping animals for five years.
He was also ordered to pay £200 in costs and a £128 victim surcharge.
After the sentencing hearing, Inspector Lamping said: “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.”