Friday, October 17, 2014

Over Unpaid Bill Of £30, Equestrian Centre Staff Shoot Dead Perfectly Healthy Ex-Racehorse And Dump Its Body On Horrified Owner's Front Garden

 Kit was being kept in a DIY livery field owned by GG Centre in Raskelf, Yorks
 Rider Beckie Warner, who leased the horse, had not paid £10 weekly charge
 She told the centre she planned on paying the fee at the end of the month
 Owner told Ms Warner, 26, that Kit would be tied to a tree if she didn't pay
 An hour later, Kit was left in her garden, dying of a single gunshot wound
 Owner of GG Centre claims they could not get horse safely into a box
 So it was 'put down humanely' by a licensed specialist in the field, he said
 RSPCA said horse was physically healthy and was killed illegally with pistol
 Police arrested two men - aged 36 and 53 - on suspicion of criminal damage
 Ms Warner: 'I'm distressed how somebody could put a bullet in its head for just £30'


An equestrian centre shot dead a perfectly healthy former racehorse and dumped it in a mother-of-two's garden at night following a dispute over an unpaid £30 bill.

Seven-year-old Kit was being kept in a DIY livery field owned by GG Centre in Raskelf, North Yorkshire, at a cost of £10 per week.

But 26-year-old Beckie Warner - an experienced rider who leased the horse - told the centre she did not want to pay the charge until the end of Kit's stay.

Ms Warner claims she received a phone call last night, telling her that Kit would be left tied to a tree if she did not pay up.

Just one hour later, she heard a dumper truck stop outside her house. She then saw Kit dying in her front garden from a single gunshot wound to the head, she says.

Today, an RSPCA inspector claimed the horse had been killed illegally with a.38 pistol and said there was nothing physically wrong with the animal.

But the owner of the GG Centre claims they had no choice but to put Kit down humanely, using a licensed specialist, after several failed attempts to get the horse into a box.

Police also confirmed that two men, aged 36 and 53, are being questioned over the incident.

Ms Warner said: 'I am absolutely devastated. I still cannot think straight. It's like being in a trance.

'I cannot get my head round what has happened, that someone could do something so evil. It's unreal - it's like something you would read about.

'I'm distressed by how somebody could do something so evil to an innocent animal, put a bullet in its head for just £30, not three grand but £30.'

Ms Warner said she had to tell her daughters Honey, seven, and Lexi, four, there was a cow under the sheet for fear of upsetting them.

She said: 'At about 9pm my horse would have been in her field happily eating grass and someone has taken her out, put a bullet in her head and dumped the body in my garden.

'The body was still there at 11am this morning, I had to tell my girls it was a cow under the sheet. They used to ride her.'

Ms Warner said she had been looking after the horse - which belonged to a friend - since April, as part of a full loan agreement.

She claims she placed the horse at the GG Centre two weeks ago at a cost of £10 a week. The firm allegedly asked her to pay up front but she did not want to pay until afterwards.

She said she received a phone call from the centre last night, asking again for the money.

Ms Warner said: 'They asked me to pay a month up front but I didn't because people had warned me not to, I told them I would pay at the end of the month.

'Somebody from the centre phoned me last night and told me to pay up, but I said I would be paying them at the end of the week and they seemed fine with that.

'They told me if I don't pay up they would tie my horse up in my garden.'

Today, Edward Harvey Johnson, owner of the GG Centre, confirmed the horse had been left with them in a DIY livery field, at a cost of £10 a week.

The stables describes itself on its website as ‘one of the finest horse and rider facilities in the UK.’

He said the centre had tried frequently to contact Ms Warner, explaining they would tether the horse in her garden if she did not contact them.

But he claims they were forced to put down the horse after several failed attempts to get Kit into a horse box.

He claims it was done humanely by a licensed specialist in the field, before it was transported to Ms Warner's garden.

Mr Johnson said: 'We removed the destroyed horse for them to dispose of in the correct or legal manner, as is the responsibility of the owner.

'We are satisfied it was handled in the best possible way and we fulfilled our obligations for the safety and well-being of the general public.

'In this business you have to make these kind of decisions and they are not always pleasant or easy, but they have to be made. The buck has to stop somewhere.'

Neighbours spoke of their horror over the incident. Donna Spencer, who was at the scene last night, said: 'The lady only had the horse on loan, she didn't own it.

'He phoned her and threatened her, and said if she didn't pay the money, the horse would be tied up in her garden.

'I'm just sickened, I can't believe someone has stooped so low to shoot someone's horse over £30. This needs to get out there.'

And Dennis Jarvis said: 'There must have been about 12 police vehicles coming and going, vans, cars and officers in plain clothes.

'I looked down from my window and could see a big shape under some sheets, and I thought it might be a human body.'

North Yorkshire Police today confirmed a 36-year-old man from Raskelf and a 53-year-old man from York were arrested on suspicion of criminal damage. They remain in police custody.

Karen Colman, an RSPCA inspector, said the arrests had been made at the GG Centre in Raskelf.

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