A HORSE owner claims her life has been destroyed after a vigilante group removed two of her animals from their stables, resulting in death threats.

Caroline O’Connor, from Dailly, admitted she made mistakes after she was issued with an animal welfare notice by the Scottish SPCA when four horses at the yard in South Ayrshire were taken by animal activist group Whispering Willows.

They took the horses to their sanctuary in Wales after being alerted to what was believed to be serious neglect.

The group also shared horrifying footage of a dead horse being found covered in maggots and hog-tied at its legs at the stables after it had been lying there for four weeks. Two other horses Gipsy and Chip could also be seen in a field with both apppearing to look malnourished.

Sandra Kvaerneng Stolp of Whispering Willows filmed the scenes at the yard and posted them live on social media, sparking a huge response.

When the Ayr Advertiser contacted Sandra, she told us: “She systematically starved her horses. We had somebody that shares the yard with her tell us that they couldn’t stomach it any more. We went up there and we helped. One horse was completely emaciated the other one was in a condition where it would have died in a couple of weeks.”

Caroline has since been hounded on social media with threats and has been forced to quit her business, a valet garage in Girvan.

She told the Ayr Advertiser: “I feel like running away. I’ve lost my business over this. I’m never going to work in this area again because of what’s been said.

The landlord has asked for his unit back.

“I’ll admit I made some mistakes, but I loved my horses. I haven’t slept for days, I keep thinking someone’s going to put a brick through my window. I’ve had to take my Facebook profile down after receiving death threats, people have been saying they’ll come round to my house, kill me and tie me up to see how I liked it. It’s just been horrendous.”

Caroline has slammed the video claiming it doesn’t show the truth or the facts of what had happened and why the horses were in that condition.

She claimed the two horses shown in the video were both suffering from illness, with one horse Gipsy suffering from a condition Laminitis which means the horse has to be put on a diet to take pressure off its legs.

Ayr Advertiser:

Rosie the horse who is found dead in the video is said to have also suffered illness and was unable to stand up for days. It is believed local vets diagnosed the foal with exhaustion. They are said to have administered painkillers for the stricken horse and advised Caroline to turn her over every two hours and to continue to feed Rosie.

Caroline claimed that she stayed overnight atthe stables to ensure the sick horse had round the clock care.

She added: “I slept at the stables just so I could be there so I was constantly turning her and being there for her.”

Rosie sadly had to be put down days later after the vet noticed that Rosie’s heart rate was alarmingly high and made the call to put the horse to sleep.

It’s then believed that Caroline desperately tried to get a farmer to remove the horse, as she had done with two other horses who had died at the yard, but struggled to get in contact with the farmer to properly remove it.

Animal lovers were left shocked seeing the sight of Rosie covered in maggots and hog tied.

It was claimed by the activists that the horse’s feet were tied up when it was still alive, suggesting serious neglect.

The Scottish SPCA had been out to the yard just days before the filming from Whispering Willows and advised Caroline on how to remove the dead horse.

She added: “I had said to the local farmer who said he was busy. I should have asked somebody else or tr ied another company. That is my mistake and I should never have done that. The stable was padlocked so there would be no risk to anyone else or other animals.

“The horses feet were not hog tied when it was alive I would never do something like that. As soon as she was put to sleep I put her legs in, tucked her head in and put a blanket over her.

“It’s a horrible experience and is always a really difficult thing to do.”

The other horse in the video Gipsy, appeared to have badly patched fur and found to be infested with lice.

Caroline added: “Gipsy wasn’t bald. I clipped her, although very badly I made a right mess of it.

A day later Caroline signed her horses over the Scottish SPCA who are handing them over to a specialist horse welfare charity. A source at the Scottish SPCA confirmed that one horse was emaciated and one was suffering from Laminitis.

She added: “I feel horrendous.

I loved my horses they meant everything to me and now I have lost them. I’m devastated.”

Scottish SPCA chief superintendent Mike Flynn said: “A woman in Dailly, has signed four horses over in to the care of the Scottish SPCA and been issued with an animal welfare notice following an investigation.

“Whilst this woman had sought veterinary treatment for the horses in her care, we believe she should have done this much sooner and as a result she has compromised the welfare of these animals.

This notice is clear that we feel she should not own any horses in future.

“We had concerns about the welfare of these horses and, before we had a chance to progress our investigation, they were removed without authorisation by Whispering Willows Sanctuary.”