Public urged not to release balloons after horse chokes to death

A horse owner is warning the public of the dangers of releasing items into the environment, after his horse choked and died on a balloon.

Balloons are frequently seen littering the countryside (Pic: Flickr)

Balloons are frequently seen littering the countryside (Pic: Flickr)

Drew Birtwhistle discovered his horse, Espoiro B, had been involved in an accident on Tuesday evening last week.

The mare, who would have been four in May, was in her field when a balloon came down and the string got stuck in her throat. She began to choke and the shock caused her to panic.

In her fear, she smashed her way through a gate, getting onto a road and tragically breaking her neck in the process.

Drew, who runs a riding centre in Harrogate, has spoken of his shock at the event: “She was a lovely mare, and really well-handled. We were just about to bring her into training as a show jumper.

“Even though we live in a rural area, we often find things in the field and check daily to make sure there’s nothing in there that could be a danger to the horses.

“I just want to make people aware of the dangers of releasing things like balloons and Chinese lanterns. They can land in fields affecting animals, and can also end up getting into hay and straw when its collected from the field.

“I’d also like to urge owners to check their fields for any debris as often as they can.”

The news follows calls for Chinese lanterns to be banned after a series of accidents involving animals had been reported. 

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