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A DISGRACED teacher from Melton Mowbray is due to appear in court next week, after being charged with two counts of animal cruelty for punching and kicking a distressed pony.

Picture: Hertfordshire Hunt Saboteurs

Sarah Moulds, 37, was fired from her position as a primary school teacher at the Mowbray Education Trust in Melton Mowbray last month, after shocking footage was shared online showing her hitting the pony repeatedly when it ran into the road last November 6.

The footage, which the RSPCA labeled “very upsetting”, was viewed millions of times and caught the attention of animal-loving celebrities including Ricky Gervais and Chris Packham.

The RSPCA has since confirmed a prosecution case has been brought against Mrs Moulds for her treatment of the grey pony named Bruce, under the Animal Welfare Act.

She is due to appear in Boston Magistrates’ Court on Monday (January 31).

The animal charity will allege that the former teacher woman caused “unnecessary suffering” to Bruce by “kicking and hitting” him, and for not taking reasonable steps to “protect the animal from pain, suffering, injury or disease”.

Both of the alleged offences against the pony occurred last November 6, in Gunby, Lincolnshire.

At the time Ms Moulds had been participating in The Cottesmore Hunt, a foxhound hunting pack which is based in Rutland.

Following the incident, a spokesman for the hunt was keen to stress that the organisation “strongly disapproved of any such actions.”

Mrs Moulds was also suspended from the group.

The incident was captured on camera by anti-hunting group, the Hertfordshire Hunt Saboteurs who were monitoring the event.

“If you can boot your horse and slap and punch it in the face in full view for everyone to see, Only concern is what is she gonna do to that horse when she gets back from driving home,” they said on their social media at the time.