An owner has called for shops to stop selling fireworks to the general public after a rocket landed outside her horse’s stable door.
Alison Human of Somerset heard fireworks going off on Saturday (3 November) evening and went to her yard, 100 yards from her home, to check her six horses.
Alison told H&H: “It was absolutely blowing a gale, I thought no one will let fireworks off but they did. I have two new horses and I didn’t know what they were going to do so when we saw fireworks going off really close to the stables, I went down there to make sure the horses were fine.
“The people letting off fireworks were also having a bonfire and I could smell burning but I thought it was just the wind blowing in our direction. I stayed for 45 minutes and waited until everything had finished and gone quiet.
“We don’t have electricity at the yard so I can’t go and turn massive lights on, and have the radio blasting so they can’t hear the bangs. We don’t have street lights near the yard so any flash or bang is easily seen. I don’t think fireworks should be allowed.”
The next morning, when Alison arrived at the yard at 7.30am, when she discovered a firework had landed outside a stable and another three in her arena.
“Some hay had come out of the stable and when the firework landed it burnt the hay. Thankfully it fizzled out and wasn’t enough to cause a fire but it probably smouldered away,” said Alison.
“If it had landed any closer it could have landed in her stable and she has a shavings bed – it doesn’t bear thinking about.”
Alison approached her neighbours the next day but said they did not apologise.
“I said ‘I had two horses quite upset and fireworks landing in my yard.’ I would have hoped she’d say ‘I’m so sorry, I didn’t think, and I won’t do it again’, but it was just a case of ‘when we next do it I’ll let you know’,” said Alison.
‘I would like to get to 500,000 signatures because I don’t think they would be able to ignore that number’
Follow the British Horse Society’s advice — from playing music to having the right insurance — so that the celebrations
If you want to keep up with the latest from the equestrian world without leaving home, grab a H&H subscription
Alison says she has signed the government petitions banning fireworks but thinks the next step is to approach shops.
“I do think the petitions are worthwhile because it brings attention to the matter but I don’t think anything will be done because it’s just an animal, sadly. The way round it might be to approach supermarkets and ask them not to sell them,” she said.
“If you can make supermarkets not sell them because of the damage they do, that would be easier than going through parliament. You have to be 18 to buy them, but there’s no law on where you can let them off.”
For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.