Farrier who hit horse nine times with hammer loses appeal
The former head farrier at Cheltenham was caught on CCTV attacking a horse with a hammer having told the owner that the animal had broken it, a court heard.
Scott Manson, 34, who struck a horse nine times with the tool while shoeing it on Apr 1, 2022 has lost an appeal against a 10-year disqualification from keeping and working with animals.
He was convicted of one charge of animal cruelty in March after pleading guilty at Cheltenham magistrates’ court, but appealed the comprehensive ban.
The attack on the male horse called Buddy was described as “unprovoked and prolonged” by the prosecution at the appeal hearing at Gloucester Crown Court last week.
Manson had told the owner of the grey Arab horse that it had broken his hammer, but after growing suspicious the owner checked CCTV footage and saw Manson assaulting his animal.
Prosecutor Kevin Withey said that Manson, of Ross-on-Wye, in Herefordshire, accepted he should be banned from having anything to do with horses but as the owner of seven dogs and seven chickens, he was appealing the ban covering “all animals”.
Manson’s claim was unsuccessful after Mr Withey cited the six-and-a-half minute assault captured on CCTV against Buddy, who was tied up, last year.
Nor was it the first time Manson had lost his temper with an animal. He had previously thrown his family pet out of a car window, with the dog having to be put down after fracturing its pelvis.
The court was also told that Manson had been convicted of harassing his former partner in 2019 and was sentenced to a 24-week prison term, suspended for 24 months.
Mr Withey said Manson had been a farrier for 12 years, having taken over the family business, and he had built up a large clientele.
The prosecutor said: “Manson was returning to stables in Churchdown in Gloucester to shoe two horses, having been there a number of times previously, but at lunchtime he contacted the owner by sending a text picture message, claiming one of the horses had broken his hammer.
“The owner apologised to Manson and offered to pay for a replacement hammer. However, the owner decided to check the stable yard’s CCTV. Manson was seen adopting an aggressive stance, striking out at the horse with his hammer, hitting its front legs at least nine times.”
The court heard from Dr Suzanne Green, an expert in equine matters, who stated that Manson had a number of options open to him when the horse began reacting to him, rather than the course of action he took.
Dr Green said: “This would have been incredibly painful for the horse and the farrier is very fortunate not to have caused fractures to any of the limbs.”
Manson was sentenced to a 12-week suspended prison term and a 10-year ban from keeping and working with animals.
He was also ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid work and 20 rehabilitation activity requirement days and to pay a total of £528 costs and surcharges.