A tragedy unfolded in Epping on 24 August 2017 when a horse and cart were hit by a passing vehicle mere blocks away from the Cart Horse Protection Association offices. A normal morning at our clinic ended in heart break for our staff members and cart horse owner Darren.
He was driving along Owen Road in Epping towards home at midday. Suddenly his horse shied away from a dead dog that was lying in the road and without warning, crossed into the next lane of traffic. Horses are big and react with lighting speed. They are, and will forever remain flight animals, and even when they are accustomed to things such as traffic, every day, their first instinct when encountering something they deem dangerous, will always be to try and flee.
Sadly for Amber, the truck in the next lane did not see her veer into his lane and hit the cart on the side, breaking a shaft and hitting her shoulder. The shaft in turn, hit her in the shoulder causing two big puncture wounds. It appears that the driver was completely unaware of having hit the horse, despite her being struck down with such force that she was flung to the ground. He carried on driving without stopping.
The driver ran the two blocks to our premises in Epping where Patrol and Call-out Officer, Waleed was just entering the gate. Farriers and EWP trainees rushed out and were speeding along towards the scene of the accident. The crying driver along with another CHPA staff member was picked up by a concerned citizen, named Collin who drove past after the incident and came to tell us what had happened.
After dropping staff at the scene, Waleed drove off in pursuit of the truck, but was unable to locate it. Amber was unhitched she was able to stand. She was given pain killers and boxed to the veterinary clinic where X-rays were taken. It showed that she had a fractured shoulder and elbow and it was decided that the best decision would be to relieve her of her pain.
A number of factors lead to this sad outcome and we hope to use the memory of Amber to create awareness among drivers of motor vehicles to pay more attention to horses on the road.