Outrage after riders jump car: welfare investigation underway

Photographs online of horses and riders jumping a car during a ride in Ireland have left H&H readers horrified.

The images show horses in Co Tyrone leaping over a car that still had a windscreen and glass in the windows.

The horses were taking part in what is believed to be a charity ride, organised by Mountain View Equestrian.

This sort of stupidity needs to be highlighted and discourage others from doing the same,” one angry reader wrote to H&H.

“This is a major case of animal cruelty that has to be made very public,” said another.

Animal Welfare and the Department of Agriculture (DARD) are now jointly investigating after receiving complaints about the event.

“DARD have been made aware of concerns regarding the welfare of horses during a charity event in Greencastle and are jointly investigating with Fermanagh and Omagh District Council,” said a spokesman.

Several horses are believed to have been injured during the ride, and one rider was reported in local press to have been taken to hospital after her horse fell.

Photos show horses landing on top of the car, denting the metal work and shattering the glass in windows.

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A spokesman for USPCA told H&H: “The enforcement agency for NI Welfare of Animals (2011) Act is the local authority animal welfare officers. We have referred numerous concerns to them regarding this event.

“It seems the welfare of the horses was not a consideration. The riders can choose to expose themselves to risk, the horses are not given this option.

“If the law has been flouted, we would call for prosecution of those involved.”

The event organiser has since responded on Facebook, stating: “I did not tell or force anyone to jump it [the car]. No horse or no rider was seriously injured.”