With the recent popularity of drones, from large and small to increasingly sophisticated units, it really was only a matter of time before another mishap occurred as a result of drone use that would find its way into the news. Affordable and easy to purchase, drones are showing up everywhere from fun uses to more sinister exploits. Yorkshire police have now revealed to the public and press on Nov. 10, that they are investigating the likelihood that a radio-controlled airborne drone startled the 14-year-old police horse into a spook that ultimately caused the gelding’s death.
The video that is attached to this article lasts only about a minute and was taken at the time that Yorkshire police horse Fimber spooked. It pictures Fimber and his companion peacefully grazing, and then something upsets Fimber into a startled run. It appears that Fimber is attempting to jump the fence but he careens into the fence post and falls. He gets up and runs back the way he came and then walks toward the other horse. The film footage is taken at quite a distance and is best viewed on the full screen setting.
Police consider there is a connection between the horse’s sudden bolt and the drone which was found in proximity to the field after the incident back in October. It was discovered by a helicopter crew as they prepared to land. Officers identified the drone as a Walkera Runner 250. The device is now commonly available in stores and only costs around £200. They are trying to find the owner of the drone device.
There is a possibility that Fimber was reacting to the drone landing nearby or being close to him when he bolted with tragic consequences.’
Detective superintendent Simon Atkinson, who is the lead in the investigation, says the CCTV footage apparently shows Fimber spooking at something. Fimber’s alarmed run and his attempt to jump the fence resulted in his being seriously injured, leading to his death. Atkinson said, “We cannot discount that this drone was involved.” Fimber was accustomed to the helicopter’s comings and goings, and his training involved loud or sudden noises, so his reaction resulted from something unusual.
He remarked that the airborne drone, flying this close in Carr Gate, Wakefield, where the helicopter is taking flight and landing on a regular basis is “not appropriate.” He notes that this could have grave results.
I appreciate that radio-controlled drones are becoming increasingly popular and I am not wanting to detract from the pleasure people get from flying them. Clearly flying one near to an operational police location such as Carr Gate, where the helicopter is regularly taking off and landing, is not appropriate and could have very serious consequences.
Atkinson continued, “I want to appeal directly to the owner of the drone to come forward so that we can bring this matter to a conclusion.”
Temporary detective sergeant Alex Grummit is asking anyone with information to contact officials via 101.