Amersham Horses - welfare case update

I am totally livid at the decision by Judge Sandeep Kainth to return 29 of the rescued donkeys and ponies to Mr James Gray and his family of Spindels Farm, Amersham, UK. I have heard that the law is an ass but do we have to go this far to prove it?

For those that did not hear about this welfare case on 4 January 31 equines were found dead and others starving at the Grays home, Spindel Farm, with 111 equines being removed from the premises. This is the largest welfare case on record.

The operation to rescue these animals was an enormous effort by Thames Valley Police, the RSPCA, Trading Standards and equine welfare charities.

Mr Gray and his family made an application to Oxford Magistrates Court on Friday (4 April) to have the equines returned to them. Deputy District Judge Kainth decided to allow 29 donkeys and ponies to be returned to the Gray’s saying “there is no evidence to show they are in any danger”.

Are you barking bloody mad Judge Kainth? You refused the application to return the other 82 equines to these people but for some reason, which clearly only you and God understands, you believe that these particular 29 animals are in no danger.

My family have been in the equine business for many years and looking after 29 donkeys and horses is no easy task, coupled with the track record of this family I would dearly love to hear your reasoning for this decision.

The family made their request for the return of these animals because they are “family pets” and denied cruelty and neglect. I ask you to look at the photo of one of the horses in this case on the Horse & Hound website and ask why this isn’t enough ‘evidence’ to show that these animals are indeed in danger.

I accept that in our country a person is innocent until proven guilty but where does that leave the innocent? Should we leave children with abusive parents until they are proven in a court of law to have caused the cigarette burns on the child? Should we return two children to parents because only their sibling was showing evidence of abuse?

To add insult to injury in this case the Judge also ordered that 82 horses should be sold at public auction rather than allow the RSPCA to supervise the finding of caring homes for them. You may as well stamp glue factory on these horses heads.

The British Horse Society make a very strong point in saying ”This will be devastating news to everybody who has been involved in the care and rehabilitation of these animals”. This is the point Judge Kainth seems to be missing, these horses and donkeys are on the road to recovery and his decision is now endangering 29 of the animals and virtually guaranteeing the death of the other 82.

I am mad, I am angry, I am too saddened to be shocked at the stupid, thoughtless and utterly incomprehensible decision.

We call ourselves a country of animal lovers so let us now prove it and take action. The next hearing is on 28 April and before then everyone needs to write to Judge Kaith and the MP for Amersham, Ms Cheryl Gillan.

You can email Ms Gillan at


write directly to Judge Kainth to demand that these equines not be returned to the Gray family and the remaining 82 horses not be sent to a public auction but he should allow the RSPCA to supervise their re-homing.

Deputy District Judge Sandeep Kainth
Oxford Magistrates Court
PO Box 37,
Speedwell Street

It is time to do what we British do best and prove that the pen is mightier than the sword, don’t wait until it is too late, express your disgust and anger NOW.

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4 Responses to “Amersham Horses - welfare case update”

  1. fee mccracken Says:

    Thank you for bringing this to your readers attention. i shall be writing to the judge in question to voice my opinion and also to Dr Elizabeth Svenson from the Donkey Sanctuary in Devon to see if anything further can be done to help.

  2. Sally Says:

    Thank you for the support Fee. I would be interested to know if Dr Svenson can do anything further.


    Thanks for posting this info on web. What can I say. This is one of the worst cases ever and words cannot express my disgust at this judges decision. What kind of person is he. The Gray’s should be facing a prison sentence and a live long ban. Now thay are to be rewarded by receiving fit donkeys back and the money from the sale of ponies all the charities have rehabilitated. This country is falling apart and decisions like this are staggering! I will write to everyone i can and pray that the appeal is heard by a just judge and not one who clearly has no regard for animal life!

  4. Sally Says:

    Hi Fiona. Sorry for my late reply and thanks for visiting rural diaries, am afraid my laptop is on the blink so not online as much as usual.

    Just doing a new post about this case as an update.

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