“The horses were galloping around fine at 12:30 p.m., at about 3:30 p.m. the low-flying planes were spotted in the area and at about 4:30 p.m. our pony was found in a very bad state,” Naomi Brown, Monty’s owner, told The Daily Mail.
The Browns called a veterinarian, but poor Monty had died before the vet could arrive. Brown says the incident traumatized her three-year-old daughter Amelia. Speaking of her daughter, Naomi said, “She has had pets that have died before, as she understands about life and death, but this has been very hard for her.”
“We told her the next day and she’s been repeatedly saying how she wants him back. We’ve made a memory board of Monty which is right next to her bed so that she can see him when she wakes up and goes to bed.”
Other Cornwall residents also reported that the jets led to their horses’ deaths. Caroline Yarworth told Cambridge News that she had to put down one of her animals. “My eight-year-old horse Grace was put down after breaking her leg from being startled. The expert said he’d only seen one break like that before. It was the high part of the leg, which was completely severed.
“We still don’t know how it happened because she was out in the field. When she was found, obviously there was no option but to have her put down… I’ve had horses all my life and I’ve never experienced anything like that before. It was quite horrendous.”
Another Cornwall woman, Claire Sexton claims that “at least three horses had to be shot… for clients at different addresses in Cornwall.” She also cast blame on the low-flying grey fighter jets.
Laura Pope from Truro, Cornwall, said that the planes “flew right over the yard so low the whole barn shook and horses all up set. It was terrifying and the noise was nothing short of deafening. This was frightening, dangerous and irresponsible.”
The fighter jets, a pair of F-15 Eagles, launched from RAF Lakenheath, a British airbase that has hosted an American air wing since the 1940s. The USAF admits that the planes were flying low, but not low enough to startle any animals.
“These aircraft were flying in accordance with the rules and limitations of the UK Low Flying System and would have been no less than 500 feet above the ground,” the Air Force said in a statement. They also said that if the U.K. Defense Ministry decides to investigate the incident, they would cooperate.
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