BAGDAD, Ky (WDRB) – Horse owners in Shelby County are not happy after several horses crashed through fences after being spooked by neighborhood fireworks.

Aloha Team Farms has 68 horses on their property and dozens were at pasture when mortar fireworks were shot off Saturday night causing the horses to panic.

Several of the horses were injured, including young foals, when they broke through stables and fences.

“They took off running. I had mares and foals screaming like they were being terrorized,” said farm owner Wendy Winstead.

Stalls were knocked down as two horses tried to escape from the barn.

Fortunately, many of the horses were rounded up quickly in the dark and none suffered serious injury but a two-month-old foal is being kept separate in a stall with its mother for observation.

Winstead is concerned several pregnant horses may suffer miscarriages due to the stress.

“We run, fans, radios, TVs ... everything that we can to muddle the sound,” Winstead said.

Trainers said the stress can be so intense for the horses it can cause them to have colic, causing their intestines to wrap around themselves.

Kathy Snyder knows all too well what can happen after one of her horses became panicked last year because of fireworks.

“I had a yearly run, fall, was spooked, and scared. He fell, he broke his hip, he had to be euthanize the next day,” Snyder said.

Winstead tells WDRB since so many of her horses are show horses, they can’t be tranquilized or sedated per show qualifications. It is also very dangerous for trainers to wrangle scared horses since the animals turn to survival mode to escape.

The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office says they can’t do much to stop the fireworks since nothing illegal is being done.

“Our hands are tied with the situation,” Deputy Gena Johnson said. “I would hope that neighbors would be considerate of others.”

Several horse owners and trainers say they are now going to start a petition to submit to the Kentucky Senate. It would aim at preventing large fireworks from being set of in Shelby County and in close proximity to horse farms. 

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