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  • Writer's pictureAlfie Austin

Woman gets restraining order for feeding ‘sad looking’ horse.

by Alfie Austin, 21/11/21 If you’ve ever walked past a horse in a field and thought about giving it a little snack, you might want to think twice next time after a Yorkshire Grandmother has been given a restraining order after she refused to stop feeding carrots to Nelson, a retired racehorse because she thought he looked ‘sad and thin’.

Horse and girl sharing carrot (Image: © heathervalentin0) Margaret Porter, 67 from Scruton on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales, spotted the horse outside of his stable and thought that the horse looked underfed, and so she ’decided to to give him a few carrots’ as she ‘didn’t want him starving to death.’ Naturally, Nelson, whose racing name was 'Youredoingwell' was happy to trot over and take the carrots. However, after a visit from the RSPCA, it became clear that Nelson was well taken care of, and his owner Suzanne Cooke, 50, asked Mrs Porter not to feed him as it would be difficult to know what he was eating, and it could make him sick.

Nelson the horse. (Image: © Glen Minikin)

Despite this, Mrs Cooke noticed Mrs Porter continued to feed the horse as she found carrot tops in his field. A bitter feud ensued that ended up with the pair at York magistrates court where it was said that she called the town parish 10 times insisting that the horse wasn’t well cared for, but that her concerns were not shared by locals. The court also heard how Mrs Porter had been convicted in 2005, for hitting her brother with 3 sticks of rhubarb in a fruit fury during a family argument.


Presiding magistrate Hillary Fairwood praised Mrs Porter for her ‘laudable’ actions in attempting to ensure the safety of Nelson, but said the restraining order was necessary for the protection of him. The restraining order says Mrs Porter ‘must not put food in the field for the horse and must not interfere with the horse in any way.’


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