Rider’s shock as blackened sky lantern found on electric fence

  • A rider who found a burned sky lantern on her electric fence is asking how many incidents need to occur before something is done.

    Jessica Crosthwaite and her partner Luke arrived at their livery yard in Barepot, Cumbria, to turn out her geldings; part-bred Friesian Lewis and Welsh section A Flash, on 26 April.

    “As we led Lewis and Flash to the gate I could see something yellow lying on the electric fence beside where the power and energiser is,” Jessica told H&H.

    “I picked it up and realised it was a sky lantern. It was all black and burned on one side where it had landed.”

    Jessica said “thankfully” her electric fence had been turned off overnight but she discovered a second lantern in a neighbouring pen where other liveries’ horses were turned out.

    “When I picked up the lanterns I was shocked at the size of them, they’re much bigger than I realised. I can’t imagine how scared horses would be when they’re flying along on fire,” she said.

    “The other horses weren’t harmed – and I’m pleased my two were in at the time as Lewis can be such a big baby. They’re flight animals at the end of the day and could have run through fencing.”

    Jessica posted about the incident on social media and said she has had a lot of support from other owners.

    “The other liveries shared my post and were just as annoyed about it as I was. Sky lanterns might look nice and people might want to set them off for a special occasion but they just don’t seem to think what then happens to them. What goes up must come down,” she said.

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    “I hope this might make more people aware of what can happen. It’s not just horses, it’s farmers’ fields and livestock too.”

    Jessica said there are too many “horror stories” of sky lanterns injuring animals.

    “That’s why it’s so important to try to make people understand that they’re a danger. I don’t know how many incidents need to happen before a ban is put in place. I hope eventually we will see one.”

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