abused horse

Ridden to the brink of death

The case of “Meisie” – a severely mutilated and neglected horse that was confiscated from a Lesotho citizen in Marquard – is one of the worst cases we’ve ever come across.

The Palomino mare had been sold to this man some time ago, but he returned the horse instead of paying his final installment. He said the horse was wild, so he no longer wanted it. Seeing how the horse had been beaten, the original owner held it in her stable and immediately contacted us.

Upon our arrival in Marquard, we came across the worst form of cruelty to animals. The horse had been beaten so badly that there were bleeding, open wounds as long as 15cm on its neck, forehead and chest. Its teeth were broken and its lower lip was badly swollen from a piece of baling twine under the lower jaw. There were severe abrasions on its face from ill fitting tack.

We confiscated the horse and took it to a veterinarian who determined that the horse also had a severe case of biliary. The Bloemfontein SPCA opened a case of animal cruelty against the Lesotho citizen but he failed to appear for his court appearance. A warrant was issued for his arrest but he could not be found and the case had to be closed. We were extremely disappointed and saddened that this case of animal abuse could not come to a conclusion in court.

Over the years, we’ve removed several horses under similar conditions. Unwanted horses are sold to Lesotho residents in good faith but often end up being subjected to horrendous cruelty. The horses are used for daily transport in extremely harsh terrain, generally ridden all the way from Bloemfontein to Lesotho – an estimated 200km away. The tack used is usually ill fitting and causes severe injuries. In the past, we’ve had horses coming from the Northern Cape through Lesotho. Some of the horses had walked so far their hooves were worn through and bleeding from the nerve.

We urge horse owners to rather hand unwanted horses over to the SPCA than sell them to people who will ill treat them.


One of the worst cases we have come across, this horse had been beaten, mutilated and neglected.