Horses spooked by fireworks; Farmers make plea to neighbors

Horses spooked by fireworks; Farmers make plea to neighbors
Updated: Jul. 3, 2017 at 11:13 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Horse farmers in Shelby County claim fireworks have been an issue for years as Kentucky continued to expand its laws. However, they believe things have now gone too far.
The lights and booms of fireworks are a beautiful site for some, but it ignites chaos in horses. 

"These horses don't know what fireworks are all about," Team Aloha owner Wendy Winstead said. "I'm as patriotic as anybody else but this has got to stop."
Last Saturday, Winstead's neighbors set off pre-Fourth of July fireworks near her Shelby County horse farm.
"They were huge," Winstead said. "They had their picnic. They had their drinks."

Winstead's horses were spooked.
"This mare tried to come up on over the wall," Winstead said as she showed WAVE 3 News the damage to her farm. "It's bent there. She tried to get up and over it and she slammed so hard that we no longer, where it's bent, can latch this door at all."

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The horses outside the barn busted the fences. A foal came back lame and dehydrated.

The animals are Winstead's livelihood.

"If a horse busts through a fence, gets out on the road, gets hit by a car, that's my liability," Winstead said. "It could kill someone."
"Every horse person dreads this holiday," Venutra Farm owner Kathy Snyder said. "(It's) not just in our state although we are the horse capital of the world."

Synder lost a horse a few years ago when the horse was spooked during Fourth of July blasts.
"The grass was wet," Snyder said. "He ran spooked, scared out of his life and broke his hip. The next morning I had to have him euthanized."

The sheriff's office said their hands are tied because fireworks are legal. The best authorities can do is respond to a noise complaint. At that point, the damage is done.
When it comes to the Fourth of July, Winstead just has one plea.

"Just think a little bit before you get carried away," Winstead said. "That's all I'm asking."

There were several horse owners at Winstead's farm on Monday discussing the fireworks issue.

They are currently a part of a petition with hopes of creating some legislation that will prevent future incidents.

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