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Horse spooks at New Year’s Eve fireworks with deadly result

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A New Year’s Eve fireworks display raised havoc with one particular horse in the Bay of Islands starting on Dec. 31. The horse – a broodmare and her foal – were crazed by the sounds and sights of fireworks. Badly spooked, the mare finally collapsed at the bottom of a hill as her baby foal crouched close to her.

People near a Kaikohe property discovered the mare who had a severely broken and mangled leg with her 10-day-old foal. She had been suffering and had lost much of her blood by the time she was found.

Don Harrison is the owner of the stallion that sired the mare’s foal. He surmises the mare was in tremendous pain with her injury. She died of her injuries in the early morning of Jan. 1.

Mr Harrison owned the stud that was bred to the mare. He said she would have been in immense pain following midnight fireworks displays until its death about 6am yesterday.

The Kaikohe property faces the location where the fireworks were shot off. Harrison said that there were fireworks going off most of Tuesday night. He considers them a serious hazard for a great many animals and not just for horses. Animals are terrified of fireworks and they should be banned. In the mare’s case, she was so terrified that she was galloping around the area and probably went through a fence or ran into something, causing the fatal leg injury.

Her foal had become dehydrated, but willingly drank milk from another mare.

Animal control weighed in on the private use and sale of fireworks to the public. For reasons such as the deadly incident with the mare, animal control does not support the sale of fireworks. Horses become highly stressed at fireworks every time.

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