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‘It was never supposed to be a farewell’: horse wounded during fireworks display is put down

A horse who sustained a 10cm deep wound when he was impaled on a fence as he tried to flee from nearby fireworks has died four weeks after the incident.

Laura Riding’s six-year-old gelding Harry had been under vets’ care in hospital since he was found wounded on the morning of 2 November at a farm in Holywell, North Wales. It is thought Harry had tried to escape fireworks going off at a nearby housing estate the night before and attempted to jump out of his field over a five-foot hedge.

Laura told H&H Harry, who had suffered a wound to the back of his leg, had been “doing well” but her vet called at 9pm on 27 November to say the horse could not get to his feet after five hours and the decision was made to put him down.

“That morning the vet had given me a really positive update; they were pleased with Harry’s wound and we were looking at him potentially coming home soon but later that day he lay down and couldn’t get up again,” she said.

“The vet said they couldn’t let him suffer any more and I was asked to go and say goodbye to him. There was so much muscle damage to the leg he injured; he just gave up. I had been seeing him most days and he seemed bright, I just didn’t think that would happen.”

Laura said a “farewell” was held for Harry with friends and family a few days after he was put down.

“We had planned a fundraiser to help with vet bills but it was never supposed to be a farewell,” she said. “It was very sad.”

“Everyone who had been following his story is devastated. He was a horse loved by everyone who met him. I’m working as much as I can to try and keep myself busy.”

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Laura said the most difficult part about the incident is that it “could have been avoided” if she had been warned about the fireworks.

“It’s frustrating, it was one of those things that didn’t have to happen. I hope what happened to Harry can bring some attention to why fireworks need to be banned from being sold to the public,” she said.

“I’m heartrbroken. He was so young, it seems like such a waste. I’ve been overwhelmed with the support I’ve received from people who have been so kind.”

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