Thursday 22 June 2017

Sulky-pulling horse 'pushed far too fast' before collapsing on busy road

WARNING: Upsetting content

Screenshots from the video
Screenshots from the video
Cathal McMahon

Cathal McMahon

The ISPCA is preparing to launch an investigation after a video emerged showing a sulky-pulling horse collapsing after it is pushed along an Irish road.

The footage, captured by an Independent.ie reader near Bohernabreena, South Dublin on Sunday, shows the animal pulling a sulky along a road.

A car is filmed driving close behind and then pulling up alongside the animal.

But just seconds later the horse collapses on the tarmac causing the vehicle to brake sharply.

The person who filmed the incident, said: "I first started recording as the driver of car was driving erratically and I was full sure there would be an accident. Pretty sure they were trying to figure out the speed of the horse.

"The horse was clearly being pushed far too fast and could have ended up causing an accident or even have injured itself."

The car drives up close behind the sulky
The car drives up close behind the sulky

Conor Dowling, Chief Inspector Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA), said the footage was upsetting adding that they would now like to investigate the matter.

"It does raise again, the use and misuse of sulky on public roads. We do see a lot of welfare issues associated with the practice. Sometimes when the animal is seriously injured they are just discarded.

"This symptomatic of the problem we have in Ireland with too many horses. They are seen by some as a disposable commodity so people will abuse them."

Mr Dowling said: "It is possible that the car is forcing it to go faster and also it could be recording the speed the horse is doing."

The driver pulls up alongside the sulky and the the rider appears to talk to the driver
The driver pulls up alongside the sulky and the the rider appears to talk to the driver

He explained that they have seen problems in the past with the sulky training adding that they have also seen horses attached to vehicles and then "pulled along".

"We see a lot of the problems with young light animals. We have seen foals at 6-8 months that have been put under harness, this is not safe or responsible."

He added that incidents like this could also cause a serious road traffic accident.

"We would like to investigate this video and identify the horse involved. It's quite likely the horse suffered a serious injury and may need treatment."

The horse collapses as the car pulls in behind the sulky
The horse collapses as the car pulls in behind the sulky

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