A Margaret River woman was fined $4000 at Busselton Magistrates Court on Tuesday for neglect of a miniature pony seized from her care last year. Esther O’Meagher, 41, was also banned for three years from owning any more horses, though she will be allowed to keep the three she already owns. The $4000 fine for charges under the 2002 Animal Cruelty Act was in addition to $3473.46 awarded in court and care costs to RSPCA WA. The court heard an RSPCA inspector attended a Cowaramup property on October 10 last year after a call from a concerned member of the public. There the inspector found 14-year-old miniature pony Magic in an overgrown paddock without access to water. The animal was hunched and struggled to walk or stand, the inspector said. A veterinarian was called and later found the animal’s hooves were “excessively overgrown due to chronic neglect”. “She also found he was suffering from laminitis, a condition causing inflammation inside the hoof, which would have been present for at least six months,” an RSPCA spokesperson said. The vet advised Magic was in extreme pain and immediate treatment was required. The animal was seized by the RSPCA and an investigation launched. The court found Magic suffered harm that could have been alleviated by taking reasonable steps. RSPCA WA inspector manager Kylie Green said looking after horses’ hooves was a “basic health requirement”. “Overgrown hooves and laminitis can be excruciating for a horse,” she said. “When you limit a horse’s ability to stand, walk and move, you completely diminish their quality of life.” Although Magic has improved thanks to care, the consequences of his neglect “would likely be lifelong”. “It’s sad that there will be ongoing issues associated with his prolonged neglect,” Insp. Green said. “But we’re happy to say he has now been adopted by a committed owner and will live a life free from pain and discomfort.” RSPCA said it relied on residents making reports and to contact 1300 278 358 or at rspcawa.org.au if cases of cruelty or neglect were suspected.