HorseBritish woman faces court as 16 thoroughbreds die in Spain, with 36 more facing death sentence

EXCLUSIVE By Tony Jefferies and
Jon Clarke in Medina Sidonia

A BRITISH woman could face animal cruelty charges in Spain after 16 horses allegedly died of starvation.

Sue Jenkins allegedly allowed a further 36 thoroughbreds get so ill they now face a compulsory death sentence from the Spanish authorities.

The horses – some prized Trakehners worth up to 15,000 euros apiece – have been kept in appalling condition on scrubland near Medina Sidonia, Cadiz.

But their plight only came to light when a concerned neighbour contacted animal welfare groups saying he was “sick of seeing dead horses”.

The British woman, who is understood to have lived in Spain for a number of years, could now face prosecution for cruelty.

Guardia Civil animal welfare arm Seprona is investigating the case, while vets from the Junta de Andalucia were called in to save the remaining animals.

Horse

It has been claimed that she failed to pay a bill for feed and that no vet had been in to check the animals for months.

A spokesman for animal charity Colectivo Acma (CACMA) Antonio Moreno said: “The situation is chaotic. When we got there one horse had just died while a colt was on the verge of death.

“Many other horses were so ill they were unable to stand. It was horrific.

“We have filed two separate denucias against Mrs Jenkins and the police and OCA are investigating.”

To add to the tragedy, under an Andalucian law all horses seized in such cases must be put down.

Animal activists are lobbying hard to allow the horses to be rescued and given new owners or repatriated to the stud in Britain where they were bred.

But so far they are meeting a brick wall as the relevant Junta department is dragging its heels. The horses cannot be moved.

According to activists, the British owner claimed that the 52-strong herd – worth more than half a million euros – died through drinking salinated water or eating hay containing thorns.

But one of the vets who first examined the horses when the police arrived at the estate confirmed to activists that they died of starvation.

“There were half a dozen vets at the farm when it was visited and a couple told me in no uncertain terms that the horses died of starvation,” said Moreno.

One local British neighbour said the woman had not paid feed bills for deliveries of hay.

Another neighbour claimed that vets had not checked the animals for months because the owner had not paid her account.

A vet who treated a number of Jenkins’ horses in January and February told her that they were “too thin” and not getting enough food.

“After one of them died I was diplomatic but told her in my honest opinion they were not getting enough food,” he told the Olive Press. “I wish I had notified the authorities then.”

Donations and charity funds are being used to feed and treat the remaining 36 horses including Trakehners – renowned for their friendly nature.

The vet responsible confirmed to animal activist Antonio Moreno that all the horses were in recovery.

The British neighbour, who asked not to be named, said: “Once the details became known there were lots of offers of help – feed, money for vets bills, transport to get the horses away from the finca and even land for them to recover on.

“But because the paperwork from the Junta is so slow they can’t be moved.

“This woman has mistreated the horses and responsibility has been taken away from her but they’re still on her land. It’s ridiculous.”

While police were unable to confirm the investigation, a vet working on the farm for Jenkins, confirmed that vets from OCA were visiting the estate “two or three times a week”.

“The investigation is continuing,” he told the Olive Press. “Water samples have been taken and the police are regularly being kept informed.”

When approached last night Jenkins denied all the allegations. She said: “None of the horses died from malnutrition. First there was the water problem and after we sorted that out I had a delivery of hay contaminated with small thorns.

“It was impossible to detect but when the animals ate it they got a mouthful of thorns and couldn’t eat.”

Jenkins, who claims to be a qualified horse nutritionalist, said: “I have saved my horses, nobody else. No one has paid any vets fees or for any food and as far as I’m aware there’s no threat of prosecution.

“I’m devastated at what’s happened and extremely angry at these false claims.”

56 COMMENTS

  1. This is the most absurd thing I have ever heard of; they save the horses to kill them?

    Move the paperwork, get the horses off the land and send them to whomever wants them.

    Give me a break. Sign the papers and save the horses, it’s that simple.

    And lastly, send the woman to jail for a very long time!

  2. Unfortunatley, its an all too commen sight from Spain. We went on hols there, 4 years ago and they dont seem t give two hoots about their animals over there, off the tourist track.
    We saw an Andulisian & Foal; tied up in a Dry river, Horses kept in high rise garges, Roof tops, Mules with Bale string, “hobbles” , Even Dogs with un treated Broken legs… Tiny kittens running along Main roads… I can go on!!!!!!
    Reason we moved to France

  3. You can tarnish a lot of the Spaniss for animal cruelty, but as for an English “horse nutritionist”…thats actually amazing.
    If was in the UK the RSPCAS would have acted immediately and jailed her…….
    I own 2 horses in Andalucia region of Spain and also am BHS qualified…..neither of my horses have had a problem with thorns in hay, or water problems.
    If you cant afford horses or know how to look after them, sell them! Dont let them die.
    Europeans slate Spanish for bull fighting…..and yet this happens!
    It was reported in UK press two weeks ago, and said sit was back in 2003….but from current article here…is it now?!

  4. I don’t care what country you are from, if your animals are showing signs of distress and are getting ill, you call in a vet. You don’t let them die and do nothing. If you suspected that you had a water problem, or you had a problem with your hay, then surely any normal person would stop giving that to them?

    This woman should be banned from keeping any animals for the rest of her life.

    Oh and Michelle, the RSPCA would not necessarily have jailed her straight away, check out James Grey’s case which is currently ongoing over here. The guy has been responsible for the death of over 30 horses, ponies and donkeys and as yet, is still awaiting trial and at one point the RSPCA was even ordered to return the animals they took from his site (which fortunately was over turned).

    It doesn’t matter what country you are in, where you come from or what you have, if you can’t afford to look after an animal properly, do not own one. By taking on responsibility of caring for an animal, it is then your due dilligence to ensure that your animal is provided for.

  5. Was she blind, and was the neighbour blind, there are places that could have helped. its disgusting and like many british that come here in the campo say Oh we will have horses, but dont know anything about them, lots of cases of visions of granduer. She should be put down as well.

  6. why were they ever allowed out of the uk? they were reported to the rspca for charges she faces in october at her local court in the uk and i would say they were not fit enough to travel to spain..why?? how??havent they got to have the ok from a vet before they go abroad? if the rspca and the whw were already involved before she went to spain why?? i think anybody involved with this cruelty should be tethered out in the blazing hot sun and left to die of starvation!

  7. Despite where you are from this is dispicable. This is a tragic situation. It is disgusting that in such an obviously severe case that the Junta are taking so long to get this processed.
    I don’t thing she is blind, I believe she has told so many lies to so many people that even she is not aware of the truth. This woman has obviously inflicted terrible pain and suffering to these poor animals and needs to pay the price for her appauling actions, the responsibility is entirely hers. Jail time, life long ban for the keeping of any animals, including her not being able to work or live in an environment with or where there are animals. I admire the neighbour for contacting the animal welfare group, this cannot have been easy to do in a small town, and hopefully, thankfully to him and his courage at the very least some of the horses may be saved. I am no expert, however having worked for several years with vets, the rspca and various other animal welfare organisations, I have never heard of horses dying for eating thorny hay! Horses have an incredible ability to omit bad foods from their mouths, including thorns. Admittedly there is a slightly high salt level in the area where the horses are, however once this has been detected the water is easily sourced from other means, so this is not a valid argument in the slightest. I am truely saddened and disgusted by this whole situation. Lets get this artical sent to as many people as we know, together through the power of email, word of mouth and any other publicity this case can be given, we will all be doing our bit to help.

  8. Most of these horses were in a shocking state before they left for Spain, about 16 of the horses were taken down to Devon and nursed back to health by a horse loving family and friends who were appalled at the condition of these horses ln Glocestershire. They were horrified when Miss Jenkins made arrangements for them to be collected and shipped to spain. We thought this was going to happen to these poor horses in Spain as she could not look after them when they were in the UK, we could do nothing to stop these horses going and a vet passed them okay to travel, by this time the horses were fat and healthy, fully recovered from the awful state they arrived in. I cannot understand why somebody was not supervising these horses when they went out to Spain especially considering what had previously happened in the UK, I am surprised she was allowed to take the horses out the country considering the RSPCA had taken several horses into there care. Miss Jenkins is not fit to look after horses and spins so many tales its difficult to know what the truth is, I dont think she has much knowledge about the care of horses, Miss Jenkins only thinks she does !!!!!!!

  9. We saw some of these horses when we was on holiday in Devon , being cared for by a local farmer who was totaly disgusted at the state they was in when they first arrived from Gloucester ( literally starving ) fortunatly the farmer had nursed them all back to good health they was happily grazing in a lush field with plenty of water and they all had been wormed and deloused one was treated for colic due to the condition that it arrived in . Unfortunatly Miss Jenkings decided to take the horses to Spain and nothing could be done to stop her , Contact was made with the ILPH and the RSPCA to say that they was being moved and nothing could be done to stop them and the horses was going to be monitered in Spain . Miss Jenkins has no consideration for anyone or anything other than herself its about time the courts in the world gave out severe penalties for such cruelty to animals . Where is the ILPH now they have the authority to stop the remaining horses from being killed and find loving homes for them .

  10. Can anyone tell me if this Sue Jenkins is the same as the British Actress Susan “Sue” Jenkins, born 1958 and married to Actor David Fleeshman and Mother to Actor Richard Fleeshman?????? I have an idea if so. Also what airport is near the horses and how many miles are they from from it? Also does anyone know if the owner Sue Jenkins is willing to give up the horses or willing to sell them? If the answer is yes, will the government then allow the horses out of Spain??? Myself and many other Americans were able to stop horse slaughter in the US by changing legislation. Now we are working on changing legislation to close our borders to stop horses from being sold for slaughter elsewhere. Any type of animal cruelty is horrendous but to starve them to death is beyond comprehension. Why does Spain choose not to change the laws vs protecting the abuser and punishing the animals to death!! Change the laws so this never happens again to other animals but immediately get a temporary injunction to help care and prevent the putting down of the remaining live horses. If cared for properly many of the horses can and should be saved. Americans have huge hearts when it comes to animals, especially horses. I myself own a Trakehner. If someone does not change the situation immediately a part of Trakehner history will be gone forever. I don’t think the people of Spain would want to be known for killing so many Trakehner horses. World War II almost caused the Trakehner to be exstinct, however many horses survived the frozen Trek to safety but were skeletons. The incredible will of this breed allowed it to be nursed back to health and is now one of the warmblood breeds that refines all others! Trakehners are one of the oldest warmblood breeds, 400 years old, and Spain needs to know how important the blood lines of those Trakehner horses are that are dying on the Jenkins property!!! Someone please tell us how to help????

  11. Hi Lesley

    You obviously have some direct involvement in this case and I was interested to read your comments. I live in Medina Sidonia where the Jenkin’s horses are, and was contacted by a welfare group in July when the welfare authorities went in and Spanish denuncia was made. Could you contact me on my personal e-mail address as it would be interesting to know more about the UK situation. I too am confused about how the horses were signed off by a UK vet when there was an impending RSPCA court case against her (she is due in a UK court in October)re the very same horses?! I look forward to hearing from you.

  12. Having lived in Andalucia now for 4 yrs, I can tell from personal experience, like many other people that animal welfare is not high on thelocal or national priorities within the authorities of Spain.
    If people with disabiliteis are not teated with equality and are discriminated against, it is a long hard battle for the poor animals!
    Its not just horses that are suffering, there are “death row” for cats and dogs! Barbaric perreras (dog pounds) are still operating and kill animals every week. These animals have for whatever reason ended up in their hands but no animal even if ill deserves to be inhumanely paralysed with an injection and suffering before dying! Recently La Perrera in Puerto Real was closed,and is the first case being heard in court (so legislation here does chnage slowly) but it is to reopen with the vet and owner just being ordered to rehabilitation training?! Like Sue Jenkins??
    The animals at the Perrera in Los Barrios need saving! Iam trying to get English and European support to try and make a small difference, to help take the dogs out of death row. To offer at least foster homes, whilst trying to rehome them. At the moment there is just one Spanish girl who saves them from death row, but she desperately needs help, even just to fill your car up and take to a foster home. See http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=23096289819
    Surely like Karen in America did with her fellow Americans can we not set up a welfare group for horses, dogs and all animals to try and change the diabolical laws here???
    Karen the nearest airport is Jerez, but as to where the remaining horses are now?
    Doesnt surprise me that the horses ended up over here; and as to being monitored; never in a million years…!

  13. to be honest wiith you none of know the whole truth about this, i know this woman and she went through a huge ordial to do with her horses, one of her british ‘neighbours’ that passed most of the herd onto jenkins only did that so she could get planning permision to build another house/building on her land but she had too many horses. but anything that any one says about jenkins has probably been passed through about a thousand mouths and have got twisted on the way! jenkins does not need to go to jail she needs support to get the authoraties and all that crap off of her back.

    any more queries please email [email protected]

  14. There can be absolutely NO excuses for anyone to allow their horses to reach this appalling state. Why did the ILPH, instead of spending money from donations on changing their name, not monitor these horses as they promised. I have asked the BHS to intervene but they have not even had the courtesy to reply. People like Sue Jenkins and her neighbour who ‘passed on’ horses to her are obviously only interested in making money. We complain about cruelty to animals in Spain but in this case, and probably many others, it is the British who are at fault.

  15. This woman needs to feel some of the pain she inflicted on these poor horses who were dependent upon her for their wellbeing. I say send her to jail for the maximum sentence X the number of horses. If the Spanish have a heart; takes the rest off the property now – in US the SPCA or other animal cruelty organization can get a judge to sign papers to put the animals in their care. I am sure there must be something like it in Spain. As a person who worked with Kentucky thoroughbreds – I have never seen such a disgrace!

  16. You people need to first realize you are reading a news article. Have you ever heard of spin? You are foolish to believe this article word for word. Second, allowing animals to starve to death is irresponsible, but not punishable by death like so many of you seem to think. They are just animals. You people fight so hard for animal rights, which in turn devalues basic human rights. To the woman from the US who “got them to not allow slaughtering of horses”. what is the problem with slaughtering horses for meat? Just because you like to ride them and love them doesn’t give you the right to take someone elses right to eat one away. My guess is you belong to PETA or some other delusional group that thinks animals are human. And for the nutjob who complains about the needless killing at the pound. What are they suppose to do with all the stray animals? You have to put them down, its not cruel, its reality. There are too many stray animals and not enough willing homes. Any animal shelter or pound that doesn’t Euthanize “no kill shelters” is sending the animals somewhere else to let someone else do the dirty work. Sure in a perfect world there would be homes for them all and everyone would treat animals well, but it’s not a perfect world and it never can be. So get real.

  17. to some one i know but im not mentioning their name— you used to live down the raod from jenkins with your own ponies and a thoroughbred out in the field with no rug on in the rain and when the horse was in, in was eating clean shavings like hard feed.
    i suggest that anyone posting comments on these websites should watch what they are saying!

  18. Suzanne Jenkins has been banned in UK court from keeping horses for 2 years, fined £600 with £400 costs. She has lost 5 of the horses involved in this case under a deprivation order – aren’t they the lucky ones.

  19. At last, some action. albeit pretty paltry and irrelevant. Do you seriously think this woman, who is still obviously in denial, will be taking any notice of this court case especially as she is now living in Spain. However, I fully agree with Felicity, well done Olive!!!!! and full power to the elbow of Senor Moreno. I really hope we can have some good news soon about the welfare of the horses in Medina.

  20. thats pathetic how can someone do such a thing to such a beutifull animal thare a lots o teenage girls who would love to have a horse i bet they take better care of them was the lady bused or neglected or something to make her do it???

  21. THIS IS F*****G DISGUSTING!!!
    WHY ON GODS EARTH WOULD ANYONE WANT TO DO THIS TO ANY ANIMAL???
    I’M NO EXPERT BUT IF I SAW ANY ANIMAL SUFFERING, I’D TELL THE APPROPRIATE AUTHORITIES STRAIGHT AWAY!
    UNLIKE THA SO CALLED VET WHO KNEW THE HORSES WERE NOT GETTING ENOGH FOOD, BUT HE DIDN’T DO AYTHING! HE DOESN’T DESERVE TO BE A VET!
    IF I HAD KNOWN ANIMALS WERE STARVING I WOULD HAVE DONE SOMETHING ABOUT IT RIGHT AWAY, I WOULD NOT HAVE HELD BACK AND WATCHED THEM SUFFER! THERE WAS NO REASON FOR THAT VET TO LEAVE THEM STARVING!

    IF I WERE HIM I’D HAVE TOLD THE OWNER THEIR ANIMASL WERE NOT GETTING ENOUGH TO EAT AND THEN I’D HAVE INFORMED THE POLICE, SO THEY COULD WATCH IN CASE SHE WAS DELIBERATELY NOT FEEDING THEM!
    AND IF SHE WAS FEEDING THEM BUT DIDN’T KNOW ENOUGH ABOUT HORSES, THEN SHE SHOUL NOT HAVE THEM SIMPLE AS!!

    THE POOR EXCUSE FOR A HUMAN WHO DID THIS SHOULD GET THE DEATH PENALTY!
    OR ROT IN JAIL FOR THE REST OF HER PATHETIC LIFE!!!
    DIE!!!

  22. im 13 n jst gt mi 1st horse a 14hh chestnut arab (flicka) if I saw her los even some wait Id b starting to watch nervously n do wat ever I cod 2 bring her bak 2 the rit wait the fact that this lady watched all of her horses drop 1 by 1 n no y they R dying is sikning.even if she codnt aford feed she cod hav mad a fund rais n id hop that evre 1 wod at lest try n pitch in. 2 yrs is a jok she shod b band frm all animals 4ever. they shod starv her jst til shes about 2 die-k that dos snd cruel bt they shod do somthin drastic

  23. To Les Hart , This is about the terrible state of these poor horses and not about how Darryl spelt his artical !!!!! Darryl’s heart is in the right place Well done Darryl you love your horse and i understood every word you wrote , i agree with what you had to say Darryl WELL WRITTEN !!!!!!! and Les you should be ashamed of yourself not everyone is ( articulate )

  24. Diane, someone who writes that badly is not fit to have a horse, as they claim they have. Also “article” is the correct spelling of the word I believe you are attempting to spell! Some correct punctuation would not go amiss either.
    If someone cannot be bothered to learn how to write correctly do you think they are capable of learning how to look after a horse?

  25. while it sometimes upsets and mystifies the olive press that the younger generation think and work differently from us, we are proud that we are pulling in young 13 year old readers like Darryl to our website to add their comments. Thanks Darryl. It might have taken us a while to understand your comments, but we understand where you are coming from, and appreciateand salute readers like you

    jon clarke
    editor
    the olive press

  26. To the editor,

    So you think that encouraging illiteracy is a good thing? Are you sure that you do not work for the Labour Government, who have ensured that state school pupils do not learn how to read and write?

    I know that the Olive Press reads like a cross between the Guardian and Greenpeace magazine, but that does not mean that the poor spelling of the Guardian needs to be encouraged.

    It would also be interesting to know how many of the comments come from readers resident in Spain.

  27. les,
    I agree about the lack of punctuation, but we are a media outlet, not a school, nor government think tank. Getting young readers involved in issues these days is hard enough, penalising them for it is not very helpful.
    I like to think we are a cross between the Guardian and the Daily Mail or Mirror, but Greenpeace we’ll take as a compliment.

    jon clarke
    editor

  28. now that they have stopped the horse slaughter a good chunck of are tax dollars are going to feed them on wild horse reserves and all the domestic horses are being turned out on blm ground causeing other horses to starve now that’s inhumane wouldn’t be more humane to send them to slaughter

  29. THAT IS SO SAD ! NO ANIMAL SHOULD DIE THAT WAY. MY GRANSON WANTS A HORSE AND WE CAN’T AFFORD ONE. AND THIS LADY HAS THEM AND IS LETTING THEM DIE WHY NOT JUST GIVE THEM AWAY. I HAVE CHICKENS AND WHEN ONE DIES I CRY. I CAN NOT IMAGINE LETTING A BEAUTIFUL HORSE JUST DIE. SHE SHOULD BE PUNISHED.

  30. TO MATT . IT IS NOT A PERFECT WORLD OUT THERE BECAUSE PEOPLE LIKE YOU DO NOT THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX IF YOU CAN’T HANDLE OR TAKE CARE OF THESE BEAUTIFUL ANIMALS WICH GOD MADE GIVE THEM AWAY OR SELL THEM DON’T JUST SIT THERE AND WATCH THEM SUFFER AND DIE.

  31. horse slaughter plants should be opened to prevent this torture. even though anmial actvists thinks that is wrong, look what is happeneing to them if they do not get slaughtered even more torture! when will you finally wake the heck up and realize that they do need to be opened.

  32. I REALLY CAN NOT BELEIVE WHO WOULD DO THAT TO ANY ANIMAL. IF THEY KNOW HOW MUCH PAIN THEY WERE GOING THROUGH THEY PROBABLY WOULDN’T DO IT, BUT THEY PROBABLY WOULD BECAUSE THEY ARE REALLY STUPID. I WISH I COULD SHOW THEM A PEICE OF MY MIND!!!!!!!!!!!!! THAT MAKES ME SOOOOOO MAD!!!!!!!

  33. i can not believe yall!!!!! this is the most cruest thang in the world! you know so what if you can eat it. you use horses for things t just not to eat or make stuff out of them! you have to be expecting to go to hell if you do this.

  34. Why would you have an animal if you are just going to starve it? there is no reason for this! I have horses and if i ever got to the point where i couldnt afford to take care of them or wouldnt b able to care for them for any reason i would find someone who could. This is so cruel! When you decide to have any animal you are taking responcibility for there life! Just like a child you have to take care of them feed them and love them. I hate it that somone would do this to a horse! Horses are such wonderful creatures and to do this to them is the most horrible thing ever! People who do this to an animal deserve to have it done to them! I cant believe this! This person needs to b in jail for a long time!

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