Windsor woman convicted for failing to provide vet treatment to two horses

A 70-year-old Windsor woman was sentenced following a plea of guilty at Windsor Local Court on 28 June 2019 in relation to one offence for failing to provide veterinary treatment to two of her horses in November 2018.

A conviction was recorded and a 12-month community release order was imposed, subject to conditions that she be of good behaviour. One horse was ordered into RSPCA NSW custody, and veterinary costs of $2822.50 awarded.

The Court heard in agreed facts tendered on sentence that on 3 November 2018, an RSPCA NSW inspector investigated a complaint about the condition of some horses on a Freemans Reach property.

The inspector located an adult Arab mare, Alena, who appeared to be in a very poor body condition with all hip, pin, spine and rib bones prominent. She had rainscald – including infected sores across the wither, top line and both sides of the rump area.

A second horse, a Bay Anglo Gelding, Shah, was observed by the inspector to be in poor body condition with pin, hip and spine bones clearly visible.

A registered veterinarian was called to attend the property and ultimately the two horses were seized so they could be provided with immediate veterinary treatment.

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The Arab mare found in poor body condition was euthanised

The veterinarian determined that both horses were very underweight and in states of extreme debilitation and neglect. Alena weighed 238 kilograms, 162 kilograms under the estimated ideal weight of 400 kilograms. She was treated for dental disease and severe rainscald.

Shah weighed 406 kilograms, 94 kilograms under the estimated ideal weight of 500 kilograms, and was treated for lice. He was also treated for extremely advanced dental disease.

On 15 November 2018, the defendant was informed that the Arab mare was suffering from liver and heart failure, and the horse was surrendered and euthanised later that day.

Shah has since made a full recovery under RSPCA NSW care, and now weighs 464 kilograms.

RSPCA NSW Chief Inspector Scott Meyers commented, “Age is not an illness, but older animals are more vulnerable and often need more veterinary treatment rather than less.

“Horses make wonderful pets, but they are a lifelong commitment. It is crucial that owners seek the appropriate vet treatment for their animals so that outcomes like Alena’s can be avoided.”

An appeal against the severity of the sentence has been lodged to be heard in the District Court in July.

Images available for download here.

For more information or an interview with an RSPCA NSW spokesperson, please contact: 0488 905 353 or