SINGAPORE - Gallop Stable was fined $9,000 on Friday (May 19) for animal cruelty by failing to provide adequate veterinary attention to its then 17-year-old chestnut thoroughbred mare at its Pasir Ris Green ranch.
A representative of the company, Mrs M. Shanker, paid the fine. But the company, which operates three ranches here and one in Malaysia, is appealing against the conviction and sentence.
District Judge Lim Keng Yeow convicted Gallop last month, after an eight-day trial, of having caused unnecessary suffering to the mare, Sharpy, on or before May 15, 2013.
A veterinarian from Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) found Sharpy in poor condition when she paid an unscheduled visit to the Pasir Ris outlet on May 15 that year.
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She advised the stable to seek immediate veterinarian attention for Sharpy. The stable arranged for a vet to attend to Sharpy the next day.
Three days later when the vet visited Sharpy again, the horse's condition seemed to have worsened.
It was lying on the ground and there were maggots in its wounds. When offered water and food, the horse drank non-stop for two minutes and ate the hay for 20 to 30 minutes.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Gabriel Choong sought the maximum $10,000 fine to be imposed.
He cited, among other things, the magnitude of the suffering caused to Sharpy; the significantly long duration of suffering; and lack of remorse.
In his mitigation plea, Gallop's counsel Simon Tan said it was the result of his client's intervention that the horse was given a stab at life.
He said upon realising that Sharpy's condition was not improving but in fact deteriorating, Gallop sought the immediate attention of an equine expert, whose care enabled Sharpy's condition to improve.
The horse, now 21, is still around and sufficiently fit to provide hand-held trail rides, he said.
He said his client had spent close to $16,000 for the treatment and care of Sharpy. Despite escalating costs of its treatment and care, Gallop remained "resolute and determined" in saving Sharpy.