Horses’ shock reactions spark crossing probe

Wilmington level crossing.  June 20th 2012 E25123N
Wilmington level crossing. June 20th 2012 E25123N

AN INVESTIGATION is continuing after reports of horses receiving ‘electric shocks’ at a rail crossing in Wilmington.

The Rainbow Bridge Equine Rescue said one horse had jumped in the air and another collapsed to its knees after riders passed the crossing in Thornwell Road.

Sean Martin, from Seaford, who used to ride racehorses, said, “I ride out there to help them out.

“I was coming from Berwick and up towards the Wilmington cross roads. I went over and the horse just sunk to its knees.

“She didn’t trip, she just went down as if someone had shot her.

“She got up and didn’t know where she was.”

The following day, on June 5, he was on another horse which he said jumped up into the air.

He added, “Had it been a novice rider it could have been a lot worse. I don’t feel I want to ride over it any more.”

A spokesman for Network Rail said, “We have been investigating what causes some horses to get an electric shock from this crossing since the first incident was reported in 2010.

“All of the equipment on the crossing is within the required safety guidelines but we have carried out work to try and resolve the situation.

“This has included installing a static discharge post, to remove static electricity from the horse and rider, and making changes to some of the equipment used on the crossing.

“We have sought advice from the British Horse Society, Horse and Hound and Plumpton Agricultural College but have yet to find a permanent solution.

“We will continue to look at ways which could reduce the chances of this happening so that all horses and riders can use the crossing without incident.”