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Wednesday, 16 January, 2019

Don't frighten the horses: trainers force Ayr to cancel Friday fireworks

Ayr: no fireworks before Saturday's jumps card
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A charity fireworks display at Ayr racecourse planned for Friday evening has been postponed after a Twitter rocket from trainers concerned about explosions disturbing horses staying overnight.

The annual event coincides this year with Ayr’s jumps fixture on Saturday, while race scheduling, which has resulted in the first being due off at 12.25pm, means horses travelling long distances to the course will be arriving earlier on Friday evening.

Trainers Kerry Lee and Donald McCain, who intend to travel runners 320 and 250 miles respectively, were among those to air their shock about a firework display being put on around horses.

McCain tweeted: "So [Ayr] are going to have a firework display Friday night before racing Saturday, seriously?" Lee added: "Move racing or fireworks."

A firework show at Champ de Mars in Mauritius. Ayr will not be following suit

Following the concerns the decision was taken by Ayr and charity BUY MSH, which provides a holiday home on Scotland’s west coast for children, young people and their families who are suffering from cancer and other life-altering condition, to postpone the event for a week.

A joint statement released by Ayr and BUY MSH on Thursday read: “Unfortunately the fireworks display to raise funds for the BUY MSH charity at Ayr racecourse tomorrow night has had to be cancelled.

“This follows concerns raised by members of the racing community over the welfare of horses in the racecourse stables prior to racing on Saturday. Due to the revised starting time of 12.25pm on Saturday horses would be arriving earlier than normal on Friday night.

“In light of this the decision was taken by Ayr racecourse to cancel the event. The racecourse and BUY MSH wish to apologise for any inconvenience caused and intend to restage the event next Friday, November 10.”

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So Ayr are going to have a firework display Friday night before racing Saturday, seriously?
E.W. Terms
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