18-month-old pony spooked by fireworks hit and killed by car

A horse owner who was destroyed on the ground advocates a ban on private fireworks after her 18-month-old pony was killed when it was “startled” by explosions and hit by a car.

Archer was startled by constant loud pops and lightning bolts and jumped out of his field before driving head-on into a car that was also written off in the tragic accident.

When Claire Willard arrived at the scene, her young New Forest pony had left a “pool of blood” on the country road and was loaded onto a flatbed truck to be removed.

Now Ms. Willard of Southampton, Hants is campaigning for fireworks to be restricted to licensed events rather than “backyard” displays.

As part of the campaign, which also focuses on reducing the maximum noise level from fireworks, she posted disturbing photos of her dead pony online.

The 47-year-old asks whether the “five minutes” were worth the life of her beloved pony, which she had bought to “accompany me into old age” and which was barely more than twelve hands up.

Desperate Mrs. Willard, who works as a warehouse manager, shared her horror when she received a call to tell her about the accident in nearby Marchwood, Hampshire’s New Forest.

She said, “Archer and his field buddy Harry were in the Marchwood field.

“He was only a baby at 18 months and wanted to spend the winter with Harry as a baby before joining me and my ponies in Hamble.

“I’ve known him since he was a foal, but didn’t buy him until the beginning of the year.

“It should be my last pony, the pony that accompanied me into old age.

“He was so lovable and such a cheeky, mischievous little character that it was easy to fall in love with.

“[On the night he died], a friend saw a post in the local community group showing Archer still alive at the field gate.

18-month-old pony spooked by fireworks hit and killed by car 1

“A driver stopped and did his best to contact the police and us owners and warn the other traffic to slow them down.

“Unfortunately my little black sweet guy was so shocked by the fireworks that he jumped out of the field.

“The driver who stopped was putting on his dangers and was trying to calm Archer down.

“Another car came by and overtook the car with its dangers, and at the same time another fireworks display went off that scared Archer straight into the lane of the car.

“He was hit headfirst and the car was written off and the driver suffered minor injuries.

“By the time I got there, they had already contacted a local farmer to move Archer’s body because it was blocking the road.

“So I saw my pony being lifted onto a flatbed truck. It left a pool of blood on the road.”

Ms. Willard is now encouraging people to sign a petition to tighten restrictions on fireworks and fireworks.

She added, “Is it really worth it? Are five minutes of whizzing, flashing and popping worth what we will all think about for many years to come?

“I just want people to stop and think. Not only horses are affected, but dogs and cats and even wildlife and even former servants with PTSD, people with autism and other conditions that cause noise sensitivity.

“If you really can’t do without fireworks, buy the low-noise ones or go to organized events.

“Fireworks may be fun in the five minutes you see them, but will you remember them in about five years? Probably not.

“I don’t usually take photos when they’re taken away, but I wanted to show people how awful it is.

“As horse owners, we can’t just wrap them in a blanket and put them in the car – special equipment is required.

“The handling of this, along with the loss of your pony, is just terrible.”

Ms. Willard also set up an Archer’s Legacy page on Facebook to “fight against domestic fireworks sales.”

Petition: https://www.change.org/p/officeforsands-review-firework-rules-to-protect-animals-from-injury-and-distress?utm_content=cl_sharecopy_13691474_en-GB%3Av5&recruited_by_id=c9dd4900-3f32-11ec-96ab- 1df310ed02bf & utm_source = share_petition & utm_medium = copylink & utm_campaign = psf_combo_share_initial

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