ISPCA shocked by Citywest sulky road racing footage

by Padraig Conlon

The ISPCA says it was left “shocked and appalled” by a video circulated on social media last week showing a sulky road race taking place on the N7 in Citywest.

In the footage, a convoy of horses and vehicles were recorded racing down one of the city’s busiest local roads.

Footage taken from an overhead bridge near shows the race being run between many cars.

In the footage, a convoy of horse sulkies and vehicles were recorded racing down one of the city’s busiest local roads.

Footage taken from an overhead bridge near Browns Barn shows the race being run between many cars.

The ISPCA say it has been calling on the Government for some time to deal not only with the public safety issue, but also the serious animal welfare concerns caused by sulky racing and training.

The charity said: “Driving horses on hard road surfaces can result in serious injuries and collisions with vehicles, and has resulted in the death of horses in the past.

“The ISPCA believes that the Department of Agriculture should work with local authorities to identify safe, off-road areas for sulky users where the activity can be regulated appropriately.

“An Garda Siochana already has sufficient powers under the Road Traffic Act to deal with the reckless and dangerous driving seen in the video, and local authorities have powers to seize any horse that is not microchipped.”

Dr Andrew Kelly, the ISPCA’s chief executive also expressed his disbelief at the video, adding:

“Driving young horses and ponies flat-out at excessive speed on Ireland’s busy roads is an accident waiting to happen. All it takes is a trip or stumble, which can be fatal for a horse and sulky driver.”

Travellers’ rights group Pavee Point said the incident was “completely unacceptable and endangers other road users and, indeed, animals and participants themselves”.

In a statement, the group said: “Pavee Point calls on local authorities to engage with Traveller organisations, horse owner projects and gardai to explore how to bring

about a resolution which allows this long-standing tradition to continue in a manner which is safe, legal and regulated.”

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