Heartbreak as horse found dead with broken leg after fireworks

  • The owner of a horse found dead with a broken leg after being spooked by fireworks hopes to raise more awareness of the harm they cause animals.

    Madison Firth’s 14.2hh traditional cob Sampson was discovered in a hedge at her farm in Gloucestershire by her farm manager on 2 November at 7.30am.

    **Warning: very upsetting image**

    Madison told H&H she believes the gelding was spooked by fireworks set off at a nearby property around 10pm the previous evening.

    “It’s absolutely devastating,” she said. “Sampson was the first horse I ever bought four years ago, he was the nicest horse you could meet. You could take him on the road and nothing would ever bother him.

    “We think he made his way to the hedge at the side of the field to try and get away from the fireworks. At some point he broke his leg. You can see the marks on the ground where he has tried to get up.”

    Madison said there had been no warning that fireworks were going to be let off.

    “It’s so frustrating, this could have been prevented. I had to watch in tears when Sampson was collected the next day. The other horses were running around – they knew what was going on,” she said.

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    “If someone had let us know we could have been with the horses and had staff on at night, but no one told us. All it would have taken was a phone call. Another neighbour had fireworks the following week and told us in advance and we were with the horses and everything was fine.”

    Madison said she would like to see the law around fireworks tightened and for more people to be aware of their effect on animals.

    “Fireworks should only be allowed at public displays. It’s disgusting that people set them off in the countryside where people know there are animals — no one seems to care.”

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