SEVEN people face being sentenced next month after admitting animal welfare offences involving seven ponies tethered on roadsides.
Two of the ponies were moved to a more dangerous position after an RSPCA inspector served a warning letter on two of the defendants, and as a result one of the ponies repeatedly fell in a ditch, York magistrates heard.
The RSPCA brought the prosecution as part of an investigation into complaints from the public about horses tethered on roadside verges.
Lawyers for the seven, who are all called Smith and who live at Ryedale Caravan Site, Outgang Lane, Osbaldwick, successfully asked for their cases to be adjourned while probation officers prepare reports on them, and reserved their mitigation until the sentencing hearing.
Alan Smith, 51, and Betty Smith, 56, both admitted two animal welfare offences involving two Shetland ponies tethered near Holtby Lane, York, between March 18 and March 27.
Phil Brown, prosecuting, said the RSPCA gave the couple seven days to look after their animals better because an RSPCA inspector was concerned about the way four ponies were tethered near Holtby Lane on March 18. Mrs Brown said that when the inspector checked the ponies on March 27, two were no longer there and the other two, which became the subject of the charges, had been tethered to a hedge with a dyke. While the inspector was there, one of the ponies repeatedly ended up in the ditch.
Edith Annie Smith, 24, pleaded guilty to five offences involving three other ponies. She admitted four offences involving a grey pony mare and a skewbald pony mare of not protecting each pony from illness, injury or suffering and not providing each pony with a suitable environment when they were tied up near the David Lloyd Leisure Centre off Hull Road, York, on July 12. Her fifth offence was tethering a white-and-black cob-type pony called Snowy in an unsuitable place and an unsuitable way, an offence that Frankie Smith junior, 20, also admitted.
Snowy was one of three ponies tied up inappropriately and in an unsuitable area by Hull Road, Dunnington, on February 14.
Frankie Smith senior, 58, pleaded guilty to a tethering offence involving a pony called Jack, and Eric Bristow Smith, 27, to a tethering offence involving a pony called Thomas.
All seven were ordered to return to court on November 15 when they will be sentenced and learn if they are to receive bans on keeping horses or animals.