‘Unthinkable’ crime as pregnant mare ‘beaten’ left to suffer and die with broken hind leg
Date of alert:
Tuesday, 17 May 2022
369 of 16/05
The heartbroken owner of a heavily pregnant mare who is thought to have been chased and beaten, and was left to die with a broken leg, says there can be no justice for such a horrific act.
Lauren Sapsted’s mare Alice was found dead by Lauren’s seven-year-old daughter Bella on Monday morning (16 May). She had been due to give birth in three weeks, and had gone into labour in her panic but the foal did not survive. Her hind leg was broken.
Lauren, of LS Sporthorses, moved to her yard in Northiam, East Sussex, two years ago after her former base was destroyed in a fire.
“I honestly thought after the fire that nothing could feel worse than that,” she told H&H. “But this is a million, trillion times worse. My poor Bells is a mess.”
Lauren said Alice, a former showjumper who won at 1.50m level, was out with two other pregnant mares but had been due to come in this week to prepare for her foal’s arrival.
“I had the call at about 7.45am on Monday, to say all the horses were out,” she said. “I was petrified they’d be running around getting hurt so I got to the yard, and the man who lives on site told me he’d caught the six who were out and put them away.
“He said ‘Don’t worry, the mummies are ok’; he said there were two out there and I said ‘There should be three’,” Lauren said. “I thought she’d been stolen so I went into the field to see if she’d gone behind the shelter. There’s a bit you can’t see because it’s round a corner and under a tree — and she was there, with a broken leg.
“Bells found her and started screaming ‘Mummy, Mummy’. I ran, came round the corner and found her with six inches of bone sticking out of her leg. She’d gone into labour, and she’d dug holes in the ground where she was trying to get up. Her headcollar was missing; that’s evidence because I think they’d taken her to that corner to do that. They think she’d been hit but something traumatic happened to that leg.