A NEW FOREST man has been banned from keeping horses after he caused 'necessary suffering' to a filly - who was left tethered with 'awful hooves and teeth' and an untreated lice infestation.

Appearing at Southampton Magistrates' Court, Jason Cooper, of Pound Road, Pennington, was convicted of ill-treating the piebald filly - later named 'Tippee' - who he had left tethered next to a stallion.

The RSPCA were called by a member of the public and assisted by World Horse Welfare in rescuing the horse from a piece of land at Admiralty Way in Marchwood.

Tippee - who was given her name by those who rescued her because of the way she wobbled when she walked - was found in an emaciated condition, covered in lice, and tethered in an unsuitable environment.

The horse was taken into possession by police.

RSPCA inspector Tina Ward, who investigated for the animal welfare charity, said: “Tippee was being kept in inappropriate conditions and her basic needs were not being met.

"She was in poor bodily conditions, her hooves and teeth were in an awful state, and she had an untreated lice infestation.

“Cooper had been the owner of Tippee for just five weeks and had already been told to remove her from the common by the Agisters because of her poor bodily condition

“The standard of care fell well below that of a reasonable owner. Cooper had a lifetime of experience of owning and keeping horses and should have known no horse should have been left to suffer in the way Tippee had been.”

“All horses need daily care and attention and especially those that are tethered. The practice of tethering horses, whilst far from ideal, is not illegal in this country, so owners who choose to keep their horses this way must go the extra mile to ensure all the horse’s welfare needs are being met.

“I am grateful to all the organisations who were involved in this case and did all they could to help give Tippee the second chance she deserves.”

Tippee has since recovered and will soon be looking for a new home.

Cooper, 43, failed to investigate and address the cause of its poor body condition, the court was told.

He was banned from owning, keeping and dealing in equine animals for two years as well as being fined £180 with £250 costs.