GARDAÍ have appealed for witnesses, particularly motorists with dashcams, as they investigate a road traffic collision in which a horse was injured during an illegal sulky race in Co Limerick.
The incident occurred on St Patrick’s Day around 2.20pm, outside Rathkeale, Gardaí said.
A horse which was being raced at the time is believed to have collapsed from exhaustion after those racing the animal collided with two parked cars.
Two horses were found at the scene and recovered by a local animal welfare group.
According to a source, there were “about fifty” persons involved in the race, including those participating and those in attendance.
A Garda spokesman said: “Gardaí in Newcastle West are appealing for witnesses following a road traffic collision on the N21 at Coolanoran, Rathkeale, Co. Limerick on March 17, 2020.”
“At approximately 2.20pm, two parked vehicles were damaged following a collision.”
“Gardaí are appealing for any witnesses to the incident, particularly road users with video footage, to contact Newcastle West Garda Station on 069 20048, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800-666-111 or any Garda Station.”
Meanwhile, in a separate incident, a spokesperson for Limerick Animal Welfare said they received a “heartbreaking call” at 7.30am on St Patrick’s Day, from a couple who discovered a “young horse tied to a tree, hidden away from view” and struggling to breathe.
“There was absolutely nothing for him to eat or drink. His thin, wet body could take no more,” they said.
“He had collapsed and did not have the strength to get up. Our volunteer rushed to rescue him. We have aptly named him Patrick and hope he survives his harrowing start in life,” they added.
A number of volunteers eventually managed to raise the horse and assist it to safety.
Limerick Animal Welfare said it had received over €2,500 in donations to pay for medical treatment for the horse.
“This is the second pony found in a collapsed and neglected state in the last few days. Why are people not held to account for this, it makes me so angry,” said a concerned citizen.