The power company responsible for low-hanging power lines which electrocuted and killed two ponies has made an out-of-court settlement with the animals’ owner.
Five-year-old Connemara Bankview Smooth Operator (“Frank”) and seven-year-old Welsh section D Glynned Tom Pepper (“Glynn”) were found dead in their field, in West Yorkshire, on 31 January this year.
Owner Charlene Richardson said a friend alerted her when she saw the ponies lying down next to each other.
“We looked at the boys and could see they were dead but didn’t know what had happened,” Charlene told H&H.
I had another colt in there who was alive, but in real distress, very traumatised. We got him out, then saw the boys were under a cable, and it was a bit low.”
It emerged later that the lines had dropped enough for the electricity to be able to arc, or jump, from the wires and electrocute the two stallions.
“We rang the electricity board and when they came out, they said the field was so dangerous, they cordoned it off,” Charlene said.
“They said my mum could have died when she touched the boys, or the dogs if I’d taken them out – anyone could have been electrocuted.”
Charlene had to endure a legal battle with Northern Powergrid, which eventually made an offer of compensation.
She said: “I bred Frank and he’d been broken and was ready to go out this season, he was absolutely beautiful. He was amazing, my aim was to do flat showing and get to the Horse of the Year Show.
“Glynn was the same; he’d been broken and done a bit and was going to go out this summer.
“The company showed no remorse, it was as if they thought: ‘it’s just horses’ but they were part of the family.
“The boys were best friends, they loved each other, to see them lying like that was so distressing.
“We’ve won but it doesn’t bring them back.”
Solicitor Hannah Bradley, of Baines Wilson LLP, said: “Miss Richardson had exciting plans for both of the horses and she clearly cared a great deal about them. Although I’m sure that she will never forget the horses, I hope that this settlement will help her to move on from the incident.”
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A spokesman from Northern Powergrid, the region’s electricity distributor, said: “We understand that the loss of any animal can be extremely difficult for owners.
“A problem with one of our overhead power lines sadly resulted in the death of two horses. We have settled a claim with the owners of the horses, who instructed a law firm to act on their behalf.”