(Warning- Upsetting images)

On New Years day my horse of a lifetime and best friend Talullah, who I had owned for 18 years, had to be put to sleep. This was a direct result of our neighbours letting off fireworks close by.

Talullah was usually reasonably calm with fireworks. Combined with the terrible weather that night, we thought that the risk of random unplanned displays would be minimised. However, we couldn’t have predicted what fireworks people choose to let off.

Tragically what was let off on New Years Eve was so terrifying to her that she ran blindly straight through a solid wooden fence. She came to a stop on a local road. The police attended and closed the road and called the emergency vet. I got to the scene (with my children in the car) to find my horse lying on the road. A horrific scene that I will never be able to forget.

With the help of a vet and police escorts, we managed to get Talullah up and home.

We tried to get her stable comfortable (sedated, painkillers, fluids and a rectal exam), as for a while we were hopeful that she might get through the shock, potential internal injuries and the colic that was caused by her terror.

By 1pm on New Years day she was seriously ill and was suffering. Despite the highest level of pain relief having been administered, Talullah was still in horrific pain and was shaking, dripping with sweat, falling over, and showing a heart rate of 120.

Under the vet’s guidance l did the only thing that I could for her and made her pain end, she was euthanised.

My horse of a lifetime is dead and suffered a horrific painful death and a massive vet bill. I can’t stop thinking about what I saw and how she suffered so horrendously, I keep seeing flashbacks, all so people can enjoy fireworks at home.

I am sorry to say it but this unnecessary suffering was a direct result of people setting off fireworks in their back gardens.

I completely understand that some people will have absolutely no idea of the potential damage and suffering that fireworks can cause, so my aim is to help those people to get a better understanding of the problem and explain why we have got to put a stop to the excessive use of fireworks near livestock.

“The Animal Welfare Act 2006 states it is an offence to cause any unnecessary suffering to any captive or domestic animal. Government advice is – Fireworks must not be set off near livestock or horses in fields or close to buildings housing livestock”

Furthermore “Section 4 of the AWA 2006 says

(1) A person commits an offence if—

(a) an act of his, or a failure of his to act, causes an animal to suffer,

(d) the suffering is unnecessary.”

The offence carries a fine of up to £20,000 and/or a prison term of up to six months. The Act is enforced by local councils, animal health officers and the Police.

We all totally understand that people want to enjoy fireworks, but was it really worth the pain and suffering that it has caused, just to have them at home?

In future, I beg you to please consider going to a well publicised, organised display, instead of doing one at home. There are so many displays at various times of the year for different religions and celebrations. Most of them are organised to raise money for a charity which is even better.

My heart is broken, we have lost our very much loved family pet, my horse of a lifetime gone forever for someone’s few minutes of gratification.

For the sake of the other animals and livestock, please can we come together to make sure no other animals suffer a horrific tragic death like my best friend Talullah did.

People can do better than this!

Some notes to help people understand and provide some insight as to the realities of fireworks and horses:

*As prey animals, horses have a heightened sense of awareness, highly sensitive to loud noises, strange smells and flashing lights. Naturally, their instinct is to flee when they sense danger.

*Even the calmest of horses can become extremely unsettled. When something is upsetting to horses or causes discomfort, the adrenal glands release a hormone called cortisol. Also known as the ‘stress hormone’, this prepares their body to react, resulting in significant and often dangerous behaviour changes.

*Stress in horses can very quickly cause serious digestive issues which lead to Colic. Colic is a serious, extremely painful condition that is frequently fatal.

*A horse will cope best in a familiar environment, keeping to his or her normal routine. So if it lives out, stay out. If it lives in a stable to stay in. Not all horses cope with living in a stable or being confined, for some being confined increases their distress.

*Sedatives can be purchased from a vet in advance, during working hours. This does not include weekends and bank holidays. The cost is typically around £50 for the stronger doses. Sedation only works for a set length of time and must be given in advance of the planned upset, or there is a risk that the horse’s adrenaline will override the sedation.

*Sedation is not something that is suitable for all horses due to age and other health conditions.

If you are considering having a display at home, please, please, please just stop and evaluate if it is really worth it?

If you got this far, thank you so much.😢 Joanna Barnett

Please take a look at the following links. We are all desperate for the unnecessary suffering to stop. Please support


Editors note: What a terrible start to 2023 for Joanna, sadly Talullah is not the first, and even worse….she won’t be the last.

Please support our campaign to stop firework sales to the general public and keep them to well-advertised licensed displays.

Send the link to this page to your MP.…….

Only 12 days to go


Only 12 days until it starts to get lighter….

Not that it will stop the NYE fireworks!

Sign the petition please here ….HELP FAB stop random fireworks. Follow us on fb,  twitter pintrest, you tube.

Happy Christmas everyone, hope all your animals stay sane and safe over New Year.

You were my best friend….

This is why fireworks should be banned from public sale. Please keep Sharing Shiloh’s legacy and the petition link below before more humans and animals are maimed or killed. The government need to know will not give up.
Us Humans aren’t the only ones to suffer the loss of Shiloh. His best friend of 2 years will also be feeling his loss. Ryan has been turned out with the rest of the herd now and seems to enjoy bossing them about. But who knows what’s going on in his head 😔 he watched his soul mate die in front of his eyes. 😢 He’s not the same as he was that’s for sure, but then again, neither are we 💔
This is Ryan and Shiloh over the 2 years they spent together, I hope you enjoy watching the memories. Music: Queen ‘Your my best friend’ Please continue to sign the petition thank you xxx 👇🏽…

Clydesdale foal

This is a year old Clydesdale foal, he collapsed in shock and pain after being trapped in a fence during a fireworks display at a local hotel.( The wedding venue started very extensive displays sometimes a few times per week). The horse IS NOT sedated, the vet was an hour away as we live in the country. His hind leg was cut down to the cannon bone, we are still struggling to get his leg healed several weeks later.  I had to share this , as yet again tonight we will experience firework # no need ! There are low decibel fireworks available for such events but the hotel owner isn’t interested

Chrome’s story

chromePLEASE THINK BEFORE SETTING OFF FIREWORKS!!! We lost the beautiful College View Chrome last night because a group of very educated people thought it was appropriate that after 12 hours of incredibly loud music a massive firework display at midnight would be an ideal way to end a concert in a rural area surrounded by livestock. They took the time to warn their own Tennant Farmer and the neighbours with no livestock yet overlooked approaching the people with livestock next door. Unfortunately Chrome was spooked and ended up breaking his shoulder. I wonder did these people bring their own dogs or cats to view the firework extravaganza? Of course not that would be ridiculous and cruel who would put their beloved animal through something like that!? Such a shame that no thought was given to all the animals both domestic and wild that had no choice only to be next to it! And for what so a few hundred people not satisfied with a day of live music, a fun fare, sports and God knows what else could look up open mouthed at the sparkly lights for a few minutes because that’s what made the difference of it being a good day or not! The funny thing is it was a beautiful clear night with all the stars out a much more beautiful sight than some ridiculous explosions. To top it all there wasn’t even an active phone number to get anyone in charge to speak to and despite my going round and explaining ( polite way of putting what I did )that their fireworks had caused injury to one of our beautiful foals who looked like might not make it no one has made any attempt to get in touch today to see what the outcome was. I’m sure they are all across the road patting each other on the back at the great success of it all.

Spider’s story

spider4Warning —-  VERY graphic photos at bottom of this page.

What a difference a day makes..!
Yesterday, I posted a few fun images of our junior stallion throwing a tantrum. It was amusing, light hearted and typical of the type of daily challenge we face working with young horses.
However, today I feel compelled to share something rather less pleasant.
Last November we suffered a terrible catastrophe due to the irresponsible misuse of fireworks. We live in the heart of a village, surrounded by countryside. The open spaces that both bisect and surround the glorious part of the world are owned and managed by livestock farmers. We store hay, straw, diesel and a variety of flammable chemicals. More importantly we live for and by the welfare of our animals. Animals hate fireworks! They are frightened, panicked, have no understanding of the terrifying noise, lights and the sheer unexpected and unfamiliar horror of these unnecessary explosions.
On ‘Firework Night’ last year we lost a weaned foal, nearly lost a stallion, had many minor abrasions and had several mares abort their foetuses. The fireworks rained down on our farm, causing both fires and absolute pandemonium inside our barns housing the animals.
The following post that I made in anger went viral and I felt compelled to remove it as the arguments among those commenting became deeply unpleasant and dark.
Last night, for some inexplicable reason another neighbour made the decision to set off fireworks on the hill above our pasture currently home to over fifty horses grazing peacefully in various paddocks. They were huge, noisy and ferocious in their chaotic splitting of the night sky.
For twenty minutes all we could hear was the deafening sound of galloping hooves in the dark, the horses ran blind in their confusion and fear. They ran into fences and each other, foals were toppled to the ground in the melee.
Our youngsters paddock was the worst, the furthest from the house and the closest to the fireworks, they either ran or jumped the fences seeking sanctuary in another neighbours garden.
We have many with cuts and bruising, a young two year old stallion prospect is on three legs with horrendous fetlock swelling, some are worse than others but by and large we were lucky to not have worse.
We have spent the day bringing horses in and out for treatment, the wonderful Emma Travis of Cheltenham Equine Vets gave up her sunday morning with her family and treated each patient.
The worst affected, was a yearling called Spider. He is a lovely natured and very beautiful black gelding who was due to be vetted for a sale pending. He will be staying here now until his injuries have healed. He will always be scarred and his recuperation will be lengthy. I am posting photos which are more graphic in the comments as I believe that it is personal choice as to whether anyone wishes to view the results of our neighbours fun!
Please can everyone think before setting off fireworks? They can cause terrible damage and fear. Thank you.

This is Spider, he is 1 year old.
Can you imagine his fear? Can you imagine his pain?
Are back garden, domestic fireworks really worth it?

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