A senator has called for the practice of sulky racing to banned on public roads in Ireland to protect horses and members of the public.
n sulky races, horses are attached to light-weight carts that usually have two wheels.
Yesterday evening, a horse that was attached to a sulky had to be put down after its hoof became entangled in a cattle grid.
The incident took place near the Curragh, in Co Kildare.
The animal charity My Lovely Horse Rescue was notified of the incident, and it arranged for a vet to try and save the animal.
However, despite the best efforts of the vet, emergency services and members of the Defence Forces – who are stationed at the nearby barracks – the horse could not be freed and was put to sleep.
“One of our long-time supporters and friend witnessed this appalling accident tonight. This poor horse was attached to a sulky and ran over this cattle grid getting its hoof stuck,” a spokesperson for My Lovely Horse Rescue said.
“Everyone tried to release him, but they couldn’t. Our supporter called us, and we organised a vet to go up asap.
“The poor horse had to be put asleep. We are beyond angry with the so-called owner who just stood there looking on as everyone did their best to save this poor horse’s life.”
“An Garda Síochána have been notified. Thank you to Kildare Fire Department. Thank you to the Army guys. RIP you poor defenceless soul,” the added.
Indepedent.ie contacted An Garda Síochána for comment.
Fianna Fáil Senator Fiona O’Loughlin raised the “horrendous incident” in the Senead today and called for sulkies to banned from being used on public roads.
Senator O’Loughlin was previously a TD in the Kildare South constituency and she argued that “for too long” sulky drivers have been allowed to use public roads with “no regard for the safety of themselves, other road users, or their horses”.
“It’s time we moved to ban sulkies on public roads. There appears to be a complete disregard for the safety of the horses these people drive on sulkies. This is highlighted by a horrendous incident in Kildare this week but is happening all over the country where we see sulky races at all hours of the morning endangering human life and the horses’ lives,” she said.
“When you consider that very close to where this incident happened, there are many that are involved in the horse racing industry, and they quite rightly are under a lot of scrutiny in relation to horse welfare. However, to my mind it appears the real horse welfare issue in the country lies with those operating sulkies and keeping horses in urban settings.”