Drones are spooking horses

February 28 2019
Drones are spooking horses

A HORSE owner is appealing to drone owners not to fly them over the animals, as they can be spooked by the unfamiliar noise.

Alyce Griffiths has recently witnessed her horses frightened galloping in response to a drone being flown overhead.

Alyce keeps her horses at a livery yard in Watley’s End, Winterbourne, just off the bridlepath to Coalpit Heath. Her daughter Fern has her own pony, Taffy, based there.

The most recent incident happened on February 2, when snow was lying on the fields. But it wasn’t the first time: horses at the yard were affected by low flying drones several times last summer.

Alyce said: “A frightened, galloping horse is at significant risk of injury, particularly in slippy conditions. There are lots of horses and livery yards around the area and drone flying could impact any of them.

I understand the appeal of filming horses galloping in the snow or on a beautiful day but we want drone flyers to understand the dangers and plead with them not to put our horses at risk.”

Andrew Walker from Frampton Community Projects, is setting up a drone club to encourage people to use them responsibly whilst also having fun.

He said: “A drone makes a pretty unique sound and the sound gets louder the closer the drone gets. It scares animals because they cannot see it.”

Anyone who flies a drone must be conscious of their surroundings before they take off, and if not then they should do a 360 degree view using the onboard camera. If you are flying over public or private land, you need to be visible.

More importantly, you must always have line of sight to the drone. Drones can fly beyond a person’s line of sight, in which case you need a spotter who the controller is in contact with. Basically the drone must always be seen by the pilot, even if that is by a third party.”

The first sessions for the Drone Club take place in the field next to Manor Hall in Coalpit Heath, on 16 and 30 March from 3-4.30pm.

You can find more information about the drone club online at framptoncp.org.