Last week the Derbyshire Times laid down the gauntlet to help four ‘starving’ horses in Clowne.
And this week animal lovers are rejoicing after the animals were moved to a new home.
But the horses’ owner remains defiant that the animals have been well looked after and says the RSPCA is happy with their care.
Leanda Calvert, who also has horses, said she was disgusted by the state of the animals and was horrified to see protruding ribs and over-grown hooves.
She joined a group of placard-waving protesters outside the field on Slayley Lane, to call on the RSPCA to take action.
Leanda said the animals have now been moved to a livery yard in the village where they will receive specialist care.
She added: “We are really pleased about this and the old pony has been stabled and is out of the mud now. The sore on his back is healing.”
“They are now on a fantastic grazing field with a warm shelter,” she said.
Campaigners said they had been calling on the RSPCA to take action for almost five months, but it took the DT to force action.
Leanda added: “We are just appalled that it has taken all of this to get these horses moved. We want to thank the DT.”
Last week the RSPCA told the Derbyshire Times they had visited the field three times and had been giving the owner advice to ensure the horses need were met. They added they had seen signs of improvement and did not have statutory rights to remove the animals, unless on vets’ advice.
A spokesperson for the RSPCA said: “The RSPCA is aware that the horses have now been moved to a new location by their owner.
“The RSPCA is still continuing to work with the owner and will continue to monitor the horses.”
Owner Lorraine Hughes told the Derbyshire Times the horses have been cared for and she had moved them following threats that they would be taken. She said she had been unwell and a friend had been caring for the animals for some time.
She added: “People don’t understand that these horses have specialist needs. They are sports horses and they should not be fat. The RSPCA isn’t visiting any more and they’re happy I know what I’m doing as I’ve had horses all my life. They were in a suitable field all along - all fields are knee-deep in mud at the moment due to the weather. I’ve not moved them for their health but because of the threats I’ve had on Facebook.”