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Pony left abandoned and injured following "sulky" racing in Tipperary, ISPCA call for ban

Contributed by Jasmine on Jun 08, 2014 - 06:18 PM

ISPCA welfare workers have called for a ban on 'sulky' racing following another incident in which a pony was left badly injured after crashing off a road into a fence.

An accident in Tipperary town, which left a pony abandoned and badly shaken still tethered in it's trap has resulted in criticism from the ISPCA. The pony which suffered no permanent injuries is recovering in an ISPCA sanctuary. According to witnesses the driver racing the pony left the scene leaving a passer by to go to the ponies assistance and call the gardai and ISPCA.

This latest incident led to Dr Andrew Kelly the ISPCA's Chief Executive to call for an end to "this life threatening activity. as the sulky racing season gets under way. He went on to say "Driving young horses and ponies flat-out at excessive speed on Ireland's busy roads, often by children as young as 10 years old, is not only risking the lives of innocent road users, the people involved in sulky road racing, but also the welfare of the animals." All it takes is one trip or stumble, which can be fatal, cause a significant injury to the horse or cause a serious road traffic collision.

According to the ISPCA these ponies are often far too young to be broken which is likely to result in their undeveloped joints and ligaments from serious damage. The most common injuries are brken knees, swollen joints and neck injuries which are often the result of badly fitting tack. The ISPCA stated that they rescued and treat many horses and ponies abandoned and injured from 'sulky road racing'. The ISPCA urgently calls on the government not only to deal with this public safety and serious animal welfare issue, but also to ensure that local authorities carry out their responsibilities under the Control of Horses Act (1996) and remove this danger from Ireland's roads.

In October last year a sulky pony was abandoned and died at the side of the Limerick to Cork road after it crashed into a parked car. The pony was left to bleed to death from a deep laceration to its throat. In May 2012 a video of a sulky being driven along the main Cork to Mallow road, weaving in and out of traffic including articulated lorries, went viral on the internet. Five men were subsequently sentenced to three months imprisonment and banned from driving for six years.

The ISPCA said it would like to commend the "kind and caring members of the public" who went to the pony's assistance in Tipperary and alerted gardai and the ISPCA National Animal Cruelty Helpline. It urged any member of the public who witnesses sulky racing to contact their helpline on (1890) 515-515.

 
Links
  1. http://horseandponycentre.org/index.php?module=news&type=user&func=display&sid=149&theme=Printer