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NewsAnimal NewsDistressing images show pony killed by car after being spooked by fireworks

Distressing images show pony killed by car after being spooked by fireworks


DISTRESSING images show a pony that was killed after being spooked by fireworks and running out in front of a moving car.

Eighteen-month-old Archer bolted from his field in Marchwood, Hampshire on Thursday when fireworks started going off ahead of Bonfire Night.

Archer on a sunny day
Archer before the tragic accident.

The New Forest pony was so petrified by the loud bangs that he jumped over a gate and ran directly into an oncoming vehicle.

Archer died at the scene after crashing directly into the car head-first.

A heartbreaking image shows Archer’s lifeless body lying out on the back of a trailer.

The horse been taken away
Archer after he was hit by the car.

Another image shows Archer in the same trailer with a blue cover over his head and torso. 

His hind legs have a piece of brown rope tied around at the ankle which appears to have been used to move him from the road.  

Owner Claire Willard posted about the incident on Friday in a bid to raise awareness for the distress fireworks can cause animals. 

She wrote: “This is heartbreaking for me to write but there is one less pony in my life today. 

“Last night I got that call that all horse owners dread. The one that tells you your horse is dead. 

“Unfortunately my little black cute dude got so spooked by fireworks last night that he jumped out of the field, skid marks suggest he jumped the gate.

Archer after the incident
Archer after he was hit by the car.

“Someone stopped and put hazards on and tried to calm Archer.

“Another car came past, overtaking the car with their hazards on and at the same time another firework went off scaring Archer right into the path of the car. 

“He was hit head first and the car was a write off.

“So I got to see my pony, lifted onto a flatbed trailer. He left a pool of blood on the road.

“So this morning Archer was taken away. I have some of his tail hair as a keepsake.

Claire added: “I am hoping that maybe some of you will think before buying fireworks. Maybe go for the silent ones or failing that go to an organised display. Fireworks and animals do not mix well.

“I now have a pony shaped hole in my heart. Archer was a complete dude and such an amazing character. 

“Even though I haven’t had him for a long time, I fell head over heels for him. I’m going to seriously miss the little chap.” 

The post has now collected over 9,800 likes with over 8,900 shares from social media users who sent their condolences to Claire.

Archer and Claire
Claire and Archer before the tragic accident.

Clair Marie Clough said: “I’m sorry to hear this. I so wish they would do something about fireworks and why we can’t only sell silent ones to the public. 

“It’s illegal to set them off near livestock but the police do nothing about it.”

Sam Webber wrote: “Bloody hell mate, I am so sorry to hear this. It’s absolutely horrendous, I can’t imagine how you must be feeling. 

“I detest fireworks, I really do. They should be banned full stop in my view as they scare so many animals and people. 

“Whoever thought of selling explosives to the general public, well, I have no words. Massive hugs to you chick and you know where I am if you need me.”

Amanda Ackerman replied: “Omg, Claire I am so sorry. Archer was a beautiful boy and this is so tragic. 

“I’m sitting here at home knowing I have to go to work and my horses are in a field six miles away and I can’t be with them.

Archer running
Archer running with another pony.

“All my cats are huddled together which never happens and they are terrified. It sounds like a war zone outside.”

Jill Stroud added: “Oh Claire, I’m so sorry to read this. How devastating and totally unnecessary, bloody fireworks.” 

Speaking today Danni Alexander, who helps look after horses alongside Claire, said: “To be honest these are the things (the pictures) we want to get out there.

“No one ever sees the aftermath that the owner is left to clean up. Claire had to watch him being lifted off the road dangling from a crane with chains wrapped around his legs. 

“That’s the first thing she saw when she turned up at the scene. 

“A farmer took his body in for the night as it was too late to call the abattoir. 

“We are not allowed to bury horses, and therefore their bodies go to the meat man. There’s no other choice. We can choose to have their ashes back at a cost.”

Speaking today Claire, 48, from Southampton said: “I think I was numb. Going through the motions almost on auto pilot because we had to sort out getting his body removed from the road.

“You don’t get the luxury of breaking down when it’s your horse. You have so much that needs organising and sorting out before you allow yourself to grieve.

“I held it all together until the drive home. That’s when I allowed the adrenaline to wear off and the tears and emotions took over.

“Even the removal isn’t easy, they need to tie the chains to either the horses legs or head and then slowly winch it up the ramp.

“Once you stand there looking down those locks of mane or tail you have snipped from them, that’s when the tears arrive properly.

“When you have nothing left but memories, a lock of hair and a pony shaped hole in your heart.”

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