'defenceless soul' | 

Sulky horse had to be put to sleep after getting hoof stuck in cattle grid

The charity has consistently raised the issue of horses being used in so-called sulky racing which they have highlighted in the past

The horse with its hoof stuck in the grid

Neil FetherstonhaughSunday World

A horse that had been attached to a sulky had to be euthanised after its hoof got stuck in a cattle grid in Kildare, a charity revealed.

The My Lovely Horse Rescue animal charity shared the sad story on its Twitter page alongside a photo showing the trapped horse.

A spokesperson wrote: “One of our long-time supporters witnessed this appalling accident last night. This poor horse was attached to a sulky and ran over this cattle grid, getting its hoof stuck.

“Everyone tried to release him but they couldn’t. Our supporter called us and we organised a vet ASAP. The poor horse had to be put asleep!

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They also thanked the “Department and the army guys who did their best to help” but said the horse had since died, adding: “RIP, poor defenceless soul.”

The charity has consistently raised the issue of horses being used in so-called sulky racing which they have highlighted in the past.

After one incident that we reported on in January, the leading animal welfare charity warned of the dangers posed to younger horses from the activity.

They said they had seen a number of foals coming in after being ridden in the harsh races on hard road surfaces.

They were responding to a video that had emerged showing one such sulky race that appears to have taken place on the M3 motorway earlier that month.

A member of My Lovely Horse said they had noticed younger horses being rescued, which are damaged and wrecked from such activity.

“They can’t deal with it,” a spokesperson said.

“Their legs are still growing so they're in terrible pain and plus they've shoes on, sometimes bad fitting shoes.

“The thing is, there's big money in these races so the big guys are doing it and then the little guys kind of want to come in and do it too.

“I think the biggest issue is that they're not thinking about the horse at all. If you treat that horse well it will continue to make money and will last longer.

“So, the big guys look after them although they still train them very young and their life expectancy isn’t very long because they’re in such pain, whereas the younger kids are doing it with what are effectively babies.

Shocking video shows both lanes being used during sulky race

“They’re literally putting shoes on babies and it's cruel. They don’t realise there are certain types of shoes to be used on the road and if a horse is pounding along with the wrong ones on its wrecking its legs.

“As we’ve said a million times before, would you give a one-year-old a pair of heels and a load of shopping to carry up the road?

“The horses don't enjoy this," she added. "But sadly, there's big money to be made and if there's big money to be made, it will continue.

"The only thing that can happen is that the law needs to come down on this activity big time to ensure that it is regulated and can only be carried out in in certain places, like proper tracks that have the right surface."

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