The RSPCA removed dozens of horses from a stud farm in Horton Kirby today to rescue them from its disgraced owner.

William Cook, of Oakview Stud Farm in Lombard Street, pleaded guilty in May to 18 charges relating to the cruel treatment of horses.

Police cars were seen outside the farm at 10.30am as Kent Police joined RSPCA officers in removing around 30 horses.

Redwings Horse Sanctuary and World Horse Welfare also helped out and the animals will be cared for until they can be rehomed.

The action was taken as part of a confiscation order issued at Cook’s sentencing.

At Dartford Magistrates’ Court on May 22 the 73-year-old pleaded guilty to 13 counts of failure to ensure animal welfare and five of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.

He caused unnecessary suffering to horses in his care and failed to ensure their welfare, leading to mouth ulcers, poor body condition and worms.

Cook’s crimes took place between May last year and January this year and relate to horses at Oakview and The Stables in Mead Road, Edenbridge.

He was given a 12-week prison sentence suspended for two years.