'Horse guru' convicted of pony cruelty
A man who claimed to be a self-taught "horse whisperer" and trainer has been convicted of animal cruelty.
Jonathan Hurst was found guilty of two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a pony at a yard in Hampshire.
The female pony - called Tanzin - was left with "absolutely shocking" spilt tongue and eye injuries which were not treated by a vet, the RSPCA said.
Hurst, of King's Elm, Barton Stacey, was ordered to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work and fined £300.
The 26-year-old was sentenced at Basingstoke Magistrates' Court on Thursday.
He offered his services to Tanzin's owner after portraying himself as a horse guru "with the skills to transform even the most wilful horse", the RSPCA said.
The filly suffered "significant injuries" while under the care of Hurst at a yard in Longparish Road, Wherwell, from 9 March to 14 March 2016, the animal charity added.
RSPCA inspector Jan Edwards said: "Tanzin had been left to suffer with absolutely shocking injuries.
"I have never seen anything like the state of her tongue.
"It's callous to leave an animal to suffer in this way without proper veterinary treatment."
She added Tanzin's owner screamed when she first saw her pony's "greyed out" eye, fearing it had been blinded.
Tanzin had refused to eat before the gash on her tongue was discovered, the RSPCA said.