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Home   Canterbury   News   Article

Freezing and starving pony left to die in Hernhill field

14 December 2012
by Danny Boyle

Farmer Ian Machin with the pony dumped and left to die on a freezing night in a field at Hernhill

Farmer Ian Machin with the pony dumped and left to die on a freezing night in a field at Hernhill

by Crispin Whiting

Heart-rending kick-marks in the mud show the place where a starving and sick young pony was dumped in a field and left to die on a freezing night.

Farmer Ian Machin discovered the corpse of the emaciated filly in a field above Hernhill church and village school, where it had died alone on one of the coldest nights of the year.

It was alive when dumped and the marks in the sodden grass show its last desperate movements. It was too weak to stand, and died where it lay.

Other marks on the field show where a large van or 4x4 had driven in through a barbed wire fence and someone had turfed out the piebald, out of sight of the road, where it lay undiscovered for two days.

"It makes you sick to think about it," said Mr Machin. "It was half-starved and only about two years old. If they had left it by a gate, someone would have seen it, and it could have been humanely destroyed."

"people leave ponies to die, or they may already be dead, to save on the costs of cremation…” – klare kennett, from the rspca

He thought the pony, believed to be aged between 18 months and two years, might have been dumped because of the high cost of feed.

The RSPCA and police were called, but said there was little chance of finding who was responsible.

Spokesman Klare Kennett said: "Unfortunately, this is quite a common problem. People leave ponies to die, or they may already be dead, to save on the costs of cremation."

Because it was dumped on private land last Wednesday, Mr Machin was going to have to foot the £200 bill to dispose of the body.

But locals at the Red Lion pub just down the hill were so sickened they had a whip-round on Friday night, organised by horselovers Claire and Steve Waterman from Cairo Lodge, Dargate, which raised more than £120 to help Mr Machin pay the bill.

Mr Waterman said: "We have horses ourselves and for someone to have done this is so out of order. To dump a dying horse on somebody else’s land is just not fair. It is such a horrible thing to happen and we wanted to chip in and help."

Anyone with information is asked to phone the RSPCA on 0300 1234999.

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