Horse dies during Traveller charity sulky run

A Traveller charity horse drive ended in disarray with the gardaí intervening and one horse left dead after a few participants failed to understand the nature of the event.

At least one horse died during the charity drive. The horse was removed from the side of the road and disposed of after the event.

The Chairperson of the Irish Society for Prevention to Cruelty to Animal's, Barbara Bent, said that she was absolutely amazed that permission was granted for the charity sulky race.

"Sulky races are sending out the wrong message. We were absolutely amazed that they were given permission to hold this event. It goes against everything we are trying to do in getting ponies off of the road. We're trying to get these ponies back into fields and not have them tied up to posts along the road. One of the most frequent complaints we receive is from tourists ringing up about ponies tied up along the side of the road. It's completely unacceptable from our perspective."

The charity event had been organised to raise funds for Amber, the women's refuge centre in Kilkenny. It had been intended that the 35 participants would parade around a circuit in their 'sulky' from Kilkenny city to Newtown, Kells and then Danesfort. According to the local organiser Michael O'Reilly certain individuals didn't understand that it wasn't a race.

"A few people didn't understand the rules and what was being organised. A lot of them thought it was a race. Everything was grand but for a few people who took off at full pelt when they were only supposed to jog."

The Garda were forced to intervene when a number of the sulkies came out from the hard shoulder and began racing on the road.

However, according to Michael O'Reilly the event went off 'grand'. He said: "It went alright. We raised over €200. Everything went grand with the drive."


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