‘Terrified’ pony put down with broken leg after New Year’s fireworks

The owner of a much-loved pony who was found with a broken leg in a field on New Year’s Day believes he was injured as he was so terrified of fireworks being let off locally.

Steph Smith’s 11.2hh gelding Alfie was found on three legs at West Wirral Riding School. Steph said she believes he must have been injured while galloping in fear, as there were skid marks in the field, and the remains of fireworks scattered around the yard.

“It’s been an awful few days,” she told H&H.

“One of our liveries noticed Alfie was on three legs and alerted my mum, who’s a partner in the business.

“We had to get a tractor and make a sling, and almost carry him back to the yard.”

A vet confirmed Alfie had broken a hind leg in two places, and the former rescue pony was put down straight away.

“He was such a great kids’ pony,” Steph said. “He hadn’t had the best start in life; my auntie rescued him as a youngster and he was a bag of bones. She gave him to me as a three-year-old to back him and get him going, and he was so well-behaved, we knew life in the school would suit him.

“He was a character; if he’d had enough, he’d let you know, but that’s kids’ ponies for you. He was good for all types of rider, the school life was what he knew and he was happy.”

Steph said the children at the riding school were devastated by the loss of Alfie, who was described as “an awesome little pony”.

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She now wants to help raise awareness of the devastation fireworks can cause.

“I’d just like to say to people: don’t let them off near farms or livestock,” she said. “I’m not saying there should be an outright ban on them; just please think.”

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