Horse-owners complain Fareham school firework display posses risk to animals

HORSE-OWNERS in Fareham have called on a school to reconsider its firework display, fearing nearby horses could bolt and injure themselves.

Sunday, 27th October 2019, 5:17 pm
Horse owners are worried about a fireworks display at a school near where their animals are kept

Henry Cort school, in Hillson Drive, is due to have its fourth annual firework display on Monday, November 4.

But more than 200 horses are kept in adjacent fields, with owners calling on the school to reconsider the display, which they fear could cause the animals to bolt and injure themselves.

Lou Kellow, whose 12-year-old gelderlander is kept in a field close to the school, said she will spend another year worrying her horse will bolt and be ‘torn apart’ by barbed wire fencing.

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The 33-year-old said: ‘There are a lot of barbed wire fences and electric fences along the fields.

‘If a horse bolts, they just go – and they can tear themselves apart going through a barbed wire fence.’

But fireworks were better being part of ‘big displays,’ according to Barry Bartlett, owner of Abbey Farms, which has a livery of 55 horses.

He said: ‘At the end of the day, fireworks frighten horses.

More than 200 horses are kept in the fields from Fishers Hill to Hillson Drive. Pictured: Two horses owned by Lou Kellow.

‘Well advertised events means all the owners know when they have to stay with their horses.

‘We can put radios on to help drown out the loud bangs.

‘It would be better if there was just big displays.’

Debora Bint, who owns an 18-year-old horse named Navarro kept in a field near Hillson Drive, said fireworks let off from residents’ back gardens made the winter months ‘a nightmare’ for horse owners in the area.

Addressing the school’s response to her concerns, she said: ‘When I wrote to the school last year, they replied saying it was an organised display.

‘But it’s not about the organisation – it’s about the loud noises.’

A spokeswoman from Henry Cort School said the display was staged ‘in the safest possible place’.

She said: ‘Ahead of the first year’s event, we made every effort to ensure that, as far as possible, horse owners in the area were aware of the planned event in good time.’

The British Horse Society advises horse owners to ask for firework displays to be moved to a more suitable location or held as far from the horses as possible.