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Horses left shocked after electricity supply scare
11:00am Thursday 7th June 2012 in Bradford
Horse riders are demanding action after four animals suffered electric shocks in two separate incidents on a dirt track – causing three to bolt and a fourth to knock over its owner.
The shocks, believed to have been caused by an electricity supply fault in underground cables, happened on a trail popular with horse riders at the western end of Spring Head Road, Oakworth, Keighley.
Northern Power Grid said its technicians were aware of the problem and were investigating.
But riders have warned that less experienced riders “could have been killed” and are now urging Northern Power Grid to sort out the problem.
Margaret Howley, 62, of Oakworth, said both her horse Walter and her border collie dog Meg received electric shocks in the afternoon the same day.
She said she had been on foot and leading Walter home from grazing at the time.
The six-year-old fell pony suddenly spun round and knocked her to the ground, injuring her elbow. When four-year-old Meg ran over the same part of the track she yelped with pain and now refuses to go near the area.
Mrs Howley said: “When I touched Meg’s paws afterwards they were red hot She was hurt quite badly and I’m really cross about it.
“This has happened to me before on the same track about five months ago. I was riding my horse, Nemo, and had let the reins go slack when he just bolted. I was hanging off the saddle and could have had a really nasty accident.
“I managed to pull on both reins and stop him, but a less experienced rider could have been killed.”
Samantha Hedges, of Wheat Head Lane, said she was riding her 16-year-old male bay horse, Dale, along the track with her mother, Nicky Hedges, and her mum’s friend, Mandi Pickles.
She said Dale suddenly “flipped” and started running forward, bucking and trying to keep his feet off the ground. The other two horses began doing the same.
Miss Hedges, 21, said: “Dale is such a steady, down-to-earth and placid horse – he doesn’t flip for no reason.
“Because I’ve been riding for many years I was able to deal with it.”