Lanterns threat to horses’ lives

Susan Gorman, one of the liverys at Dalhousie, with the Chinese lantern that fell there.
Susan Gorman, one of the liverys at Dalhousie, with the Chinese lantern that fell there.

A Midlothian livery owner is calling for a ban on Chinese lanterns after one lit at a nearby cemetery landed close to her horses.

Fortunately for Dawn Blackwood, Dalhouse Mains Equestrian owner, none of the 11 horses there were injured after she found the lantern in one of the horses’ grazing paddocks last week.

She said: “I’m not sure if it was lit when it landed but it got stuck in the trees and the horses were under that tree. They wouldn’t have been able to get out of there.

“The whole yard would have been up in flames. It’s really scary.

“Luckily, for my horses, none of them were set alight with this. Had it landed on one of their rugs it would have gone up in flames and they would have had a burning rug strapped to them.

“It is very scary. The cemetery is only two fields away from us so they are probably going to land around my area.

“Dalhousie Castle is not for away from us so they could effect us too. Both let off lanterns regularly and it gives me the fear.

“People don’t realise the damage they could cause until they actually see for themselves.”

Dawn believes that the lanterns should be banned.

She understands the attractions – and said that before she knew the dangers she had actually used them herself with her children – and now wants others to understand the potential for damange.

“They should be banned,” she said. “While you are thinking of ways to remember your loved ones, please spare a thought for my poor horses grazing in the next field and other animals nearby. A much safer gesture would be to light a candle and leave it at the cemetery and let off a helium balloon for your loved ones.

“I have loved ones at that cemetery too and I know they would hate for any of my horses to be burned alive due to them.”