CONCERNED parents were horrified to find the body of a horse had been left near a school for about five days.

The horse is believed to have died last Friday on a field behind the Our Lady of Ransom Catholic School, in Little Wheatley Chase, Rayleigh.

The field does not belong to the school.

A concerned parent had notified Essex Horse and Pony Protection Society, based in Pitsea, after discovering the animal. The organisation promptly made an urgent call-out on Facebook in an attempt to identify the owners, urging them to pick up the horse.

The sanctuary was anxious that the sight of the dead animal would terrify children and other residents.

They were also concerned about the dignity of the horse and the welfare of the other horses in the field.

However, the school’s staff decided to arrange the horse to be removed as soon as it was notified about the situation.

Headteacher Paul Parascandolo said the school had removed the horse yesterday morning and ensured their pupils were kept away from the site.

He said: “Regarding the horse in the adjacent field to the school, I can tell you that although the horse was not on school property, staff acted quickly to arrange for it to be removed from the field in a humane way by a professional company.

“As soon as the school became aware of the horse, our children were kept away from the area and we are not aware of any distress caused to them.

“The horse was removed yesterday morning. I’m afraid I don’t know who notified the school, it may be that our caretaker made the discovery on his usual inspection of the site boundaries.”

It is not known who owns the horse and the RSPCA have not been contacted about it. Essex Horse and Pony were contacted for a comment however they were unable to respond before the paper went to print.