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Home / Latest News / Horse trader ‘left ponies in barn to die’

Horse trader ‘left ponies in barn to die’

A horse trader from South Wales, who is believed to own thousands of animals across the country, has been found guilty of widespread animal cruelty. 

Following a trial at Cardiff Magistrates’ Court, Thomas Tony Price, 49, of Glan y Mor Lane, Cowbridge, was today convicted of 57 animal welfare offences.

The charges related to 27 ponies, which were removed from five different locations across the Vale of Glamorgan and Bridgend between February and March 2012. 

Speaking after the trial, RSPCA inspector Christine McNeil said: “These horses turned out to be the most poorly and diseased horses I have come across.”  

She added that she believed 12 ponies found in a barn without food or water had been “left there to die”.

The verdict came a month after his two sons admitted offences relating to the same group of animals.

Eldest son Thomas Hope Price, 26, of Rover Way in Cardiff, pleaded guilty on May 8 to 42 charges, including causing unnecessary suffering to 18 horses.

On the same day, a second son, Tony John Price, 18, also of Rover Way, admitted failing to meet the welfare needs of two ponies.

Thomas Price senior was the director of a business known as Glamorgan Horse Traders and Thomas Price was listed as secretary of the same business which deals in horses across the UK, Europe and America.

The family are believed to own around 2,500 horses, which are kept at various locations throughout Wales and England.

The defendant, who had no legal representation, claimed he had transferred the £2.5m business to his eldest son as a “gift” in January 2012 and therefore had no responsibility for the horses.

But the prosecution alleged the transfer was a “sham”, putting forward evidence which suggested he had continued to negotiate business deals and write cheques months after this date.

Thomas Price senior also alleged the RSPCA were trying to “snare” him and that vets had lied when giving evidence because they were being bribed by the organisation.

Summing up, district judge Bodfan Jenkins said: “The defendant has put it to me that he cannot read or write and that he is a simple man. I do not accept that he is a simple man at all. I find the view that he is a clever man, a man able in business and a man of considerable craft in his dealings.”

Delivering his verdict, the judge said: “The defendant is found guilty of every charge he faces.”

The case has been adjourned for a pre-sentence report and the three men will be sentenced at Cardiff Magistrates’ Court on July 5. The judge has warned costs could reach tens of thousands of pounds.

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