Following her refusal to stop giving him carrots, a grandmother received a restraining measure to help a retired racehorse. 

Margaret Porter (67) thought Nelson, the chestnut horse, who lives in Scruton, on the Yorkshire Dales edge, was sad looking and concluded he needed to be fed.

Suzanne Cooke (52) had asked her to not give him carrots and she started giving them to him. 

Ms. Cooke said to the grandmother, “You can poison my horse or cause it colic and make him sick.” 

But Mrs Porter ignored her request, and repeatedly called the police and RSPCA – prompting owner Mrs Cooke to accuse her of a campaign of harassment. 

York magistrates were informed that the row over Nelson’s carrots was the topic of village talk, and the parish council requested to take part in this increasingly bitter dispute.  

On Thursday, Mrs Porter was found guilty by magistrates. She was given a restraining orphanage that bans her access to Mrs Cooke’s house and horse. 

She was also fined £180, with court costs of £310 and a £34 court surcharge. Mrs Porter, who doesn’t work, will pay it at £10 a month from her state pension.

Margaret Porter

Suzanne Cooke

Margaret Porter (left) appears at York Magistrates Court after Suzanne Cooke has given carrots (right) to Margaret Porter.

Nelson the horse owned by Suzanne Cooke and who was fed carrots by Margaret Porter

Suzanne Cooke owned Nelson, a horse that was given carrots by Margaret Porter.

The court heard Mrs Porter’s story about how she got involved in the first place, after having passed Nelson’s paddock at the village edge.  

She said, “I saw him outside of his stables. I thought he looked very sad.” 

“I wasn’t able to examine the horse, but he was there. There was snow on top of the grass and the fields had frozen. His owner was not present with me at all, but I did pass him six-seven times daily. 

“He was thin, and I started talking to others about my worries in the hopes that someone would listen and help me get the horse to take care of it properly. It was making my life difficult. 

“I offered him some carrots on the fence. It never crossed my mind that someone else would care about it, but I didn’t want him starving. 

Nelson continued to be fed by Mrs Porter. Mrs Cooke was alerted when Mrs Cooke discovered that Nelson had dozens upon dozens of carrot tops. 

Then she picked the animals up and brought them to Mrs Porter. 

Mrs Porter ignored this and kept sneaking carrots at Nelson. Nelson was willing to trot over to the fence for them. 

According to Mrs Cooke, Mrs Porter was spotted parking her car up in front of my horse. Her horse appeared to be eating the food she had just thrown into the field. 

“I opened my car’s window to ask why you were feeding my horse. Is this what you know? Your actions could cause poisoning or colic in my horse and render it unwell.

“She said, “You can call the police. I don’t mind.” 

“I’m tired of all this and am worried about my horse’s health. I’m not sure what she’s giving her. 

A RSPCA inspector called to her home and told her that he had completed a welfare inspection on Nelson. 

Quickly, the inspector realized that he wasn’t just being cared for but was also in top form after he had been in competition three times in professional horse races. 

Mrs Cooke said Mrs Porter was still gossiping with the villagers despite Mrs Porter’s RSPCA certificate of good health. 

Trevor Howe was a 40-year veteran of the parish council. He testified that Mrs Porter called him about 10 times, insisting the horse wasn’t well. 

Mrs Porter told the court how she first became involved after passing Nelson's paddock on the edge of the village. She said: 'I saw him standing outside his stables and I thought he looked quite sad'

The court heard Mrs Porter’s story about how she became interested in Nelson after walking past his paddock at the village edge. She stated that she saw Nelson standing outside of the stables. He looked very sad to me.

Mrs Porter took no notice of Mrs Cooke's anger and continued to sneak carrots to Nelson, who willingly trotted over to the fence to receive them

Mrs Porter ignored Mrs Cooke’s anger, and she continued to steal carrots from Nelson. Nelson happily trotted to Nelson to take them.

The carrots fed to Nelson the horse which were later picked up by his furious owner Mrs Cooke

Nelson, the horse’s carrots were taken by Mrs Cooke to be eaten.

He stated that he did not worry about the horse, but that she had rung at least 10 times to inquire about its welfare and repeat it was being underfed. 

Mrs Cooke claimed she was forced to contact the police because Mrs Porter had already been arrested. She first appeared before a courtroom in April and denied harassing.

On Thursday, magistrates found her guilty after hearing each side of the argument.

Hilary Fairwood, the Presiding Magistrate said that her behavior was exemplary in the first instance because she believed she was doing all she could to stop the neglect of the horse. 

“She continued to do so despite having been told by the RSPCA that she had no concerns.” 

“Her conduct was unacceptable and we hold her responsible for the charges.” 

Fairwood claimed that it was necessary to issue a restraining injunction for Nelson’s safety. 

The defendant was given the following address: 

Additionally, she is forbidden to approach Mrs Cooke and attend her house which is just across the street. 

Following the hearing, Mrs Porter stated that it seemed absurd to take a horse to court to give him a few carrots. However, at least they gave me my chance and didn’t put me in jail. 

Mrs Cooke declared that she is glad Nelson was kept away by the court. 

“He is a thoroughbred horse, and he’s well cared for, exercised, and fed. He’s wonderful and much loved by my son and I. 

In his racing days Nelson was based at Middlesham, one of the homes of British horseracing

Nelson raced at Middlesham in his horseracing days, which was one of the British homesteads of horseracing.

“This has been going on for one year and has caused me so much stress and turmoil, that the entire village where I have lived happily for eighteen years has started to talk about it. 

“She tried to cause the most trouble possible without any good reason. The RSPCA came to Nelson to conduct a welfare check. It made me feel horrible. 

Nelson lived in Middlesham during his days racing, the home of British horseracing. 

After three unsuccessful races, his racing name was You’redoingwell. He was then put to pasture before being purchased by Mrs Cooke three years later. 

Northallerton magistrates also heard from Mrs Porter that she lost her temper when William, her estranged brother laughed at her, was driving by in his Land Rover. 

Three sticks of Rhubarb were thrown from the cottage windows and one caught him right in his eye. 

Porter was ordered to perform 40 hours of community service. She also had to be barred from accessing property owned by her son with whom she is currently at odds.