Piggott insists her fiance is not guilty of horse cruelty
RACING presenter Tracy Piggott yesterday insisted her fiance, who was recently ordered to pay €34,000 in damages for the mistreatment of a thoroughbred racehorse, was innocent of cruelty charges.
Leading trainer Stephen Mahon has launched an appeal against the Circuit Civil Court judgment. The court was told that Pike Bridge had eaten its forelegs to the bone to consume excruciatingly painful tendons.
Ms Piggott yesterday claimed said the case had been reported inaccurately and that the horse's skin had reacted to chemicals which caused it to scratch and become irritable.
"Stephen got the vet straight away. There was no neglect.
"That mare was never left in any pain that couldn't be helped by a vet," she told RTE's Liveline programme.
Judge Alison Lindsay in the Circuit Civil Court ordered Mr Mahon to pay more than €34,000 in damages to the mare's owner.
The horse had to be humanely put down to prevent further suffering.
However, Ms Piggott said that the horse had not been neglected and was not in any pain.
The couple own three horses together, she said.
"I see him with all animals, he absolutely idolises animals, it is an awful thing to say about somebody."
The couple have postponed their planned marriage while Ms Piggott's father Lester, the renowned jockey, recovers from a heart attack.
Mr Piggott took ill earlier this month in Switzerland and spent a number of days in intensive care after suffering a recurrence of a heart problem.
The couple had originally planned to get married this summer.
During her judgment Judge Lindsay said the court had to assess the level of damages due to owner Patrick Doherty for the maltreatment and loss of his animal.
"Pike Bridge was put in the care and management of Mr Mahon and to put it mildly, the horse was just not cared for in any way," she said.