Therapy Horses Beaten by Gangs of Youth

Fort Centre
Fort Centre

Maghera, Ireland – The horses at the Fort Centre Therapy center were injured and traumatized when a gang of youth cut the locks, broke into the facility, and beat the horses.  The 4 horses were found traumatized and scared, with whip marks on their bodies and one of the horses had a cut on his muzzle.

Horse with cut muzzle
Horse with cut muzzle

Martin O’Hagan is an instructor at the Fort Centre, and he spoke to reporters with the BBC about the attack.  “If the horses got a good enough chasing and scaring we would probably have to close the place for a couple of weeks to let them settle.  I couldn’t put a price on the horses because of what they do.  You could spend two or three years searching for the right horse for this kind of activity.”

This isn’t the first time the therapy program horses have been attacked.  In a previous attack, a horse was cut when it was stabbed with a broken bottle.  “This has been going on a right while now and it seems to flare up at holiday time,” O’Hagan said.

O’Hagan hopes the horses will still be able to give rides to the kids who come to the program.  “If you have an autistic child coming to the centre every week at a certain time, try telling him or her that the horse is not there to ride that night – it’s nearly impossible.  Some of the children wouldn’t understand they’re even on a horse; others come every week and are able to ride on their own and have a certain horse to ride.  When that horse is not there it’s very hard to explain to them why it’s not there.  We don’t want to be turning young people away; sometimes they don’t understand why they can’t go riding – it’s heartbreaking.”

Horse suffering from whip marks.
Horse suffering from whip marks.
Author: Dale Williams <-- Become my friend on Facebook! - Phone: 724-964-6773

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