British Grand Prix dressage rider Sam Duckworth has been sentenced to prison after he was found guilty of horse neglect at Kidderminster Magistrates’ Court, after an 11-day trial.
The court heard the charges applied from December 2020 to January 2021, when the horses were seized by the RSPCA. The sentencing followed on 6 December 2022.
According to Horse & Hound, Duckworth was "given an immediate 18-week prison sentence and ordered to pay £68,860 in costs, including the care of the horses since the seizure. He was banned from keeping all animals for life and cannot apply to reverse this for five years."
UK Sport posted that "prosecutors said he “dismissed the RSPCA and the advice given to him by RSPCA vets and his own,” adding, “We find he did not properly follow advice on feeding and deworming.” Duckworth’s defence said Covid restrictions meant he couldn’t be on the grounds much and that he was responding to requests from those on the farm, for example for food. But the judge said immediate imprisonment was the only way to achieve adequate punishment."
The 42-year old Duckworth is from Newmarket Road, Cambridgeshire.
On 18 November British Dressage issued a statement that the federation was "aware of and have been closely monitoring a case brought about by the RSPCA against Sam Duckworth, concerning the neglect of five young horses in his care, causing unnecessary suffering." BD also added that, "we can confirm that the individual in question is currently suspended and not an active member of British Dressage or any member body of British Equestrian. Both organisations have a zero-tolerance approach to equine welfare issues."
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