TWO horses had to be put down after a single mum-of-three who had "taken too much on" failed to care for them properly, a court heard.

Kelly Harrison pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to three horses - one of which survived and was re-homed.

Bradford and Keighley Magistrates Court heard that the three horses - aged between seven and nine months - were found in an "extremely thin state" by RSPCA officers and needed worming. One of them had collapsed in the field, the court was told.

Harrison, 25, was banned from keeping or having any care of horses for ten years and told she must complete 80 hours of unpaid work. She was also ordered to pay costs of £190 and a £60 surcharge.

Nigel Monaghan, prosecuting, said: "There was no supplementary food supply for them and a very small amount of dirty water on offer. The grass in the field was very poor, the field was very muddy and there was no shelter."

He added: "They were all suffering due to a poor diet. They had been neglected for weeks to a few months, according to the vet."

In mitigation, the court was told that Harrison had never intended to cause the horses any suffering and had fed them a bale of hay each day.

Her solicitor John Raj said "circumstances overtook her and, particularly, her lack of knowledge".

He: "She was simply unable to cope with this enormous task of looking after three ponies with very little money."

The court heard that Harrison, of Bolton Hall Road, Bolton Woods, had bought two of the horses for between £15 and £20 and was given the third free. It was said that the animals were already in a poor state of health when she took them on, which she did out of pity.