The owners of a horse which was severely injured by a firework have been “overwhelmed” with the support they’ve received to help pay for his operation.
Charley Taylor and her mum Debbie Walker were distraught after a firework left their 21-year-old horse Dettori with an irreversible injury to his eye.
On Thursday night, Dettori was one of several animals spooked by a firework display close to his field at a livery yard in Countesswells, Aberdeen.
The firework pushed his “eye so far into the socket that all the fluid as came out and filled with blood”.
A vet will visit Dettori today to reassess his injury and owner Miss Taylor said “we just need to take it a day at a time”.
The 21-year-old said: “He’ll have his bandage taken off, it’s been on since Thursday.
“The vet won’t want to give us a sense of false hope, what happens next will depend on how well he adapts. The best case is that his eye comes out, he’s not an old horse but he’s a rescue horse and has already been through a lot in his life.”
If Dettori is “still really stressed and traumatised” he may have to be put down.
However, last night the management and marketing student told the Press and Journal “he is still quite frightened, but seems a bit chirpier”.
Miss Taylor said: “He has arthritis and we let him out in the field for small periods of time because it’s not good for him to be in a stable for too long.
“He rolled today and that was the first we saw him do that, we got a bit emotional when we saw that.”
The surgery costs around £1,000 and further medication costs between £200 and £300. A fundraising page was launched to help pay for this and has raised more than £12,000.
Miss Taylor said: “We completely smashed the target in something like 48 hours, it’s crazy really. We’re so overwhelmed with all the support – we were totally shocked when this happened but this is something positive that’s come out of it. I just want to say I’m so thankful to everyone who’s supported us.
“I’ve had someone message me who said their horse, who is older than Dettori only has one eye too and they’ve managed ok. The support has meant so much to us.”
The donations will be split evenly between the Scottish SPCA and World Horse Welfare, who run a rescue and rehoming farm in Aboyne.
Due to his arthritis, Dettori is a “field companion” for the mother and daughters other pony. Miss Taylor said: “When I was able to ride him before, he was just lovely. He’s what you’d describe as being bomb-proof.
“I got him when I was 11 and he’s a 16hh horse so that says a lot about how trustworthy he is. He’s just another member of the family to us.”
The mother and daughter, who posted on social media following the incident, also aim to raise awareness on the dangers of fireworks for horses. Miss Taylor said: “We weren’t sure at first if we should put something up on Facebook, but if it prevents what happened to Dettori happening to other horses, we thought it was best to raise awareness.”
Scottish SPCA chief superintendent, Mike Flynn said he was “sorry to hear of the injuries caused to Dettori” and wished him a “speedy recovery”.
The incident was reported to the police on November 5 around 9.45pm.
Donations can be made online by searching ‘To help Dettori and the SSPCA’ on gofundme.com