Richard Balfour - DO NOT USE TRANSPORT

Joined
8 June 2021
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11
⚠️BEWARE - RICHARD BALFOUR AND KIERAN MAHON⚠️

⛔️NEGLIGENCE/DEATH⛔️

Timeline:
Picked up Galway: 13:30 Tuesday 13th April
On the Ferry: 22:00 Tuesday 13th April
Stopped over night: 23:00 Hardwick 14th April
Delivered Ynysybwl: 08:30 Thursday 15th April
Signs of colic: 12:00 Friday 16th April
Vet called: 13:00 Friday 16th April
Equine Hospital Breastone: 15:00 Friday 16th April
Surgery: 18:00 Friday 16th April
Dead: 13:49 Sunday 18th April
Cremated: 18:00 Sunday 18th April

Vets - B&W
Vet who attended yard: Duncan Graham
Vet who performed surgery: Henry Tremaine
The BEST vets - 100% couldn’t have done anymore for Colin than they did.

Emergency transport - Hunters Transport
Again, amazing. Couldn’t have wished for for better, will recommend again and again.

Disclosure:
  • The seller booked the transport.
  • I paid for the transport.
  • I did do my research on Richard Balfour but didn’t find anything until it was too late.
  • I bought him with a passport although he got delivered without one.
  • The passport got posted to me and was delivered after Colin died.
  • I only had Colin 1 day so hadn’t yet sorted out the insurance. The vet said it wouldn’t have mattered anyway as the majority take 2 weeks to kick in.
  • The surgery cost just over £6000

At 13:30 on Tuesday 13th April Colin was picked up by Richard Balfour from Kieran Mahon’s yard. He was second to last on the box just after another pony (see pic 1). Colin was scheduled to be delivered to me at 23:00-00:00 on 14th April but he called me at around 23:00 saying he was 70 miles away so was going to stop overnight, he said he was stopping overnight in Hardwick meaning he was only 32 miles away not 70 like advised. When he got delivered to me at 08:30 on Thursday 15th April, he was last but one on the box with the same pony next to him which leads me to believe he never got off like he legally should have. If I am correct in my saying he didn’t step foot off the box from the moment he got on until the moment he got delivered then he was in transport for 43 hours. When he got delivered, Richard had to take off 3/4 other horses before he got to mine, all of which on the side of a fairly busy road due to his lorry being too big to get directly on to my yard. On the side of the road he handed me, my mother and my mothers partner these horses while he took mine off. He then handed me mine while I was still holding a mare, baring in mind Colin was a colt.

I walked him up the drive and introduced him to the yard. He was perfect, exactly as described in nature. Impeccable manners, handled extremely well, hats off to the breeders, they done an amazing job with him. He nibbled on his haynet, had a stretch in the school, lay down and snoozed. I spent all day with him on the Thursday and left the yard around 17:30.

Friday 16th April, my friend was spending the day on the yard so I just asked her to take a nose in at Colin every so often just to make sure he was settling. She sent me a picture of his 3 big haynets untouched and minimal water drank (see pic 2 and 3). This is unusual but he wasn’t distressed, he wasn’t showing any signs of discomfort or colic. But come 12:00 he was in full blown colic (see pic/vid 4/5/6). Immediately the vet was called and he come within 40 minutes and got there and started work, I got there 5 minutes after him. While waiting for the vet, my mothers parter spent the 40 minutes walking him in the shade to stop him rolling but when he got there Colin got cast and he and the yard owner went in and pulled him up right and stood him up. The vet checked him over and he was “fine” no signs of colic other than his obvious discomfort, his heart rate was fine, his temp was fine although they discovered he had a murmur but the vet said he’d more than likely grow out of it or it could have been caused by the medication he was given. The vet was concerned because the obvious signs weren’t there so he done a rectal exam and felt 3 “rolls” of blockage in his small intestines and he said we need to act fast and take him to hospital. Which of course we did.

We got to the hospital, the whipped Colin away and started on him right away, no waiting around. I signed all the paperwork and paid the deposit of £1000. That’s the last I saw Colin. Henry the surgeon come to us in the waiting room and laid out our options. Surgery or PTS. Of course, we opted for surgery. By 18:00 he was on the operating table. There are several types of colic surgery and the vet said the more complicated - the more it costs. Colin actually had the easiest surgery, found the 5inch blockage, made an incision, removed the blockage, stitched him back up and then kept him comfortable (see pic 7 for blockage). They allow a £7000 spend before they start asking your permission to spend more. Henry said the surgery went well and he was in the ICU for 24 hours to be monitored every minute of his recovery. But it didn’t end there, he continued to colic, so they tubed him several times over the 48 hours to bring up his stomach content and found more of the blockage material (see pic 8). Colin had eaten NYLON. He had eaten an actual hay net! The vet said he would have been so starving that he just ate what was in front of him.. an empty haynet.

I called the transporter and he admitted to me that there was a broken/eaten haynet of the same colour in the place where Colin was. I have a phone call recording of where he admits this to me. I asked him for his insurance details and he said he doesn’t have insurance because he doesn’t have to. I asked him to explain and he said he only does “favours” for friends and that he’s not a business so he doesn’t “need” the insurances. His Facebook page (see pic 9) and google would say different along with statements I’ve received from other people who have used him (not friends, but business). I also paid £350 for the pleasure. But he’s not a business?

So Colin continued colicing and didn’t recover. Colin was sadly put to sleep peacefully on Sunday 18th April at 13:49 (see pic 10). And was cremated by peaceful pastures by 18:00 Sunday 18th April which cost £330.

Kieran was great through the whole situation and was apologetic. He promised me my money back, he was speaking with “Richie” and they had both agreed to get me a “replacement” horse. I told Kieron I didn’t want to receive a horse from Richard and that nothing would replace Colin and Kieran said he would take one, sell it and then give me the money. Not as compensation but to help with costs. I wanted to post about this sooner (I did but Kieran said to take it down as it wouldn’t help me get any money back) but Kieron convinced me to stay quiet at least until he had and sold the horse which I understood at the time. I have since learnt that all these promises were made to just keep me quiet and Kieran has now blocked me on Facebook and WhatsApp meaning I’ve lost contact with him.

So my main goal now is making sure as many people know about the negligence caused at the hands of Richard Balfour and hoping my experience may prevent anyone else having to experience similar.

I am almost £10k out of pocket for a poor horse I only had 1 day. He was only 2, he would have been 3 on July 1st.

Kieran advertises on Facebook and Dragon Driving, he goes by KP on dragon driving. I couldn’t fault him at the beginning but if you do buy from him please arrange your own transport for the sake of your horse.

If anyone has had a bad experience with either Richard or Kieron then please reach out, it will help me with the legal side of things, it will be fully confidential. I’ve already spoken to a good handful of people but I know there will be more.

Thanks for reading this if you got to the end. If anyone has any questions/advice/contacts then please let me know and reach out.

Mollybailey@hotmail.co.uk
 

ycbm

Well-Known Member
Joined
30 January 2015
Messages
39,656
Molly I am horrified and so sorry that you had to go through this experience. I can't even bear to think about poor Colin. I hope you can find some peace with it all soon.
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Keira 8888

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1 June 2020
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832
Literally no words - I am sickened for you. I hope you manage to bring these vile scumbags to justice. I’m so sorry you are having to go through this x
 
Joined
8 June 2021
Messages
11
Molly I am horrified and so sorry that you had to go through this experience. I can't even bear to think about poor Colin. I hope you can find some peace with it all soon.
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Thank you so much for your kind message. I just want justice for him❤️
 

ycbm

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Joined
30 January 2015
Messages
39,656
Thank you so much Keira. I have so much support behind me I’m hoping we get some sort of justice for our Colin x
I will happliy donate to a justgiving page if you want help raising funds to sue and I'm sure a lot of horse owners would too. We trust people to do their best for our animals and they killed your horse. If you start a page we can point to it on here I think, or at the very least make sure we share it among ourselves.
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Joined
8 June 2021
Messages
11
I will happliy donate to a justgiving page if you want help raising funds to sue and I'm sure a lot of horse owners would too. We trust people to do their best for our animals and they killed your horse. If you start a page we can point to it on here I think, or at the very least make sure we share it among ourselves.
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That’s so so so kind of you. I have had so many people say the same, I just feel awful in doing so. X
 

Rowreach

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Joined
13 May 2007
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13,193
Location
Northern Ireland
I will happliy donate to a justgiving page if you want help raising funds to sue and I'm sure a lot of horse owners would too. We trust people to do their best for our animals and they killed your horse. If you start a page we can point to it on here I think, or at the very least make sure we share it among ourselves.
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If it's to highlight what happened and who was responsible, yes, but the OP won't get any money off them.
 

Kahlua

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5 June 2020
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200
I saw your post on Dodgy Dealers this morning and my heart broke. I’m so sorry you have gone through this. I hope you get some justice and peace soon x
 

Pearlsasinger

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20 February 2009
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36,423
Location
W. Yorks
I will happliy donate to a justgiving page if you want help raising funds to sue and I'm sure a lot of horse owners would too. We trust people to do their best for our animals and they killed your horse. If you start a page we can point to it on here I think, or at the very least make sure we share it among ourselves.
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I was just thinking the same! Please don't bankrupt yourself, OP, remember these scum are very tricky and know exactly what to say and who to say it to.
 

Carmen6

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Joined
3 April 2013
Messages
103
If it's to highlight what happened and who was responsible, yes, but the OP won't get any money off them.
It would be a ton of stress and probably very drawn out, but I think it would be worth it to set a precedent that behaviour like this wont be tollerated. People that behave with such little regard for welfare rarely stop until they're made to stop.

Perhaps it might also highlight any need for changes in law / welfare standards? Not that I can think of any off the top of my head.

Any suggestions of laws that would have made a difference in this case?
 

Rowreach

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Joined
13 May 2007
Messages
13,193
Location
Northern Ireland
It would be a ton of stress and probably very drawn out, but I think it would be worth it to set a precedent that behaviour like this wont be tollerated. People that behave with such little regard for welfare rarely stop until they're made to stop.

Perhaps it might also highlight any need for changes in law / welfare standards? Not that I can think of any off the top of my head.

Any suggestions of laws that would have made a difference in this case?
I absolutely agree, I've no idea how these people are still getting away with it. The regulations are in place, they need to be enforced, with big penalties.

When I read the OP I knew straight away it would be one of two operators involved.
 

Ambers Echo

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Joined
13 October 2017
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6,409
I really hope you do get legal redress. I simply cannot understand how so many laws can be broken with devastating outcomes and yet no-one is held to account. Normally these FB stories appear one-sided and things don't always quite add up. So I just don't get involved in amplifying situations I don't know enough about. But your account could not be clearer and is well evidenced. What more do the authorities want!
 

Birker2020

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Joined
18 January 2021
Messages
1,862
I saw your post on Dodgy Dealers last night and I'm so sorry, I hope you manage to find someone to take on your case. All my love.
 

Cobsxfan18

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Joined
11 June 2019
Messages
138
I don’t know what age Colin was but colic is definitely not a great thing for any horse owner to deal with I am really sorry that happened
 
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