Editor’s comment: These horses will not perish. Not on my watch!

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I HAVE to congratulate the group of animal lovers who took it upon themselves to speak up for a group of horses they believe have not been cared for properly.

Worried locals practically begged the Derbyshire Times to intervene, after feeling ‘let down’ by the authorities. One of my reporters investigated the claims, and was upset to discover animals with ribs protuding, bones sticking out and sores clearly visible.

I’m no equine expert, but nor do you need to be to see that owner Lorraine Hughes has not looked after the beasts as she should have.

She reeled off her excuses: from having health problems to delegating responsibility to a friend, who she says ‘had no idea’ the horses were being neglected. He ‘didn’t know what to do’, she reckons. Well, I’ve never been near a horse in my life, but I’d have a bash at feeding them something, providing fresh water and brushing them down a wee bit!

It’s poppycock! It’s absolute rubbish. Take a look at our photos. You do not need to be James Herriot to see that something was wrong with these great creatures.

Bear in mind the RSPCA are telling us that they have seen an IMPROVEMENT in their appearance and well-being, recently. If that’s the case, and I’ve no reason to doubt the experts, then what condition were they in before the DT took up the fight?

So here’s the deal: like the RSPCA, I’m willing to give Lorraine Hughes a chance to pull her finger out, or let the horses go to someone who will look after them properly.

I’m even willing to send a reporter and photographer down to photograph the happy horses – once their health has been turned around.

But the DT is watching, and we’re not about to let these creatures perish. Not on my watch!

by James Mitchinson, Editor