Lisburn landowner’s unexpected arrival

New arrival: The little foal has been named Trouble.
New arrival: The little foal has been named Trouble.

A Lisburn woman has told how she’s been left with an unexpected arrival, 11 months after police officers put a stray horse into a field with her mare.

Gillian Doyle, from the Pond Park Road area, explained how someone had left the stallion to graze by the roadside near Whitemountain last spring.

Tbay with her foal, Trouble.

Tbay with her foal, Trouble.

Responding to a report of a horse loose on the road, police officers arrived and put the animal into the nearest field.

“It happened to be my field that I had a mare in and 11 months later I have an unexpected arrival,” Gillian explained. “I know the police have a job to do and have to ensure public safety, but I feel a bit hard done by.

“My vet told me I had to make sure I had the foal microchipped and had a passport for him otherwise I could be in trouble with the police myself. It’s really very unfair.”

While being out a considerable sum of cash in vets bills, feed and other costs, Gillian admits she’s grown quite attached to her “adorable” new arrival, which she has aptly named ‘Trouble’.

Having heard of other horse owners who’ve faced similar scenarios, Gillian has queried the fairness of the PSNI’s practice of putting stray horses into the nearest field.

Asked to comment on the issue, a PSNI spokesperson stressed that horses left to wander onto public roads “pose a danger to themselves and road users” and warned that “those who persist in letting their animals stray will face prosecution.”

Inspector Linda Savage added: “If a horse is on a road PSNI have a power to seize and we are warning members of the public we are going to begin seizing when they are reported to us, but there are obvious dangers of the harm that could be caused to them, and the damage to vehicles, in a collision.

“Horses should be kept in secure paddocks and fields. Their owners should ensure that fences are adequate and that gates cannot be inadvertently opened by the animals, or deliberately opened by any passer-by.”