SEVERAL incidents involving horses being scared by wind turbines on display in the Pembrokeshire County Show ground have led organisers to re-think their tradestand layout for next year.
Concerns were voiced by owners and riders after their horses reacted to the spinning of a small turbine on a stand near the show’s collecting ring.
Among them was Dave Scourfield, whose own equestrian establishment is set to be in the shadow of Pembrokeshire’s largest turbine on land near Ludchurch.
His wife, Isobel, was riding through the walkway on her way to the ring when her horse was ‘spooked’ by the turbine. “She was thrown off, and he went galloping off into the lorry park, where he fell and cut his leg,” said Mr Scourfield. “This really proves the point that turbines and horses just don’t mix. This accident could have been avoided if the show organisers had used a bit of common sense and not put the turbine so very close to the horse area.”
Sarah Whitfield of Penskyber Livery Yard, Letterston, was working a child’s pony in the collecting ring when it span around, frightened by the turbine’s movement.
“I managed to stay on, but if a little child had been riding the pony, there could have been a nasty accident,” she said.
One of her four-year-old hunters also reared up and bucked when he caught sight of the turbine, she added.
Added another rider, Martin Brown of Pembroke: “The location of the turbine was unsuitable. The horse I was riding was pretty experienced, but something startled him – either the movement or the noise. He reared up, and I fell off the back of him.”
Pembrokeshire Agricultural Show general manager, Alex Bruce said the concerns had been taken on board.
He said: “Our trade stand regulations have now been amended to ensure that wind turbine models and similar display items are excluded from all areas adjacent to equine activity, including arenas, the collecting ring and the horsebox parking area.
“We trust that this positive action will reassure our many equine competitors, as we look forward to the 2013 show and beyond.”