Runaway horses in Condorrat spark pitch invasion chaos

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Horses are a hazard to players and spectators at Cumbernauld Rugby Club as they gatecrash matches and training sessions.

The unwelcome visitors live in an unsecured paddock nearby, continously sparking walkabouts that damage the private land of the lovingly maintained pitch.

On Saturday, October 11, police had to be summoned mid-game and the horses handlers traced.

Club secretary Charlie Kearton said: “Although the horses were grazing only a few feet from the playing area, club officials were concerned that something as simple as an over excited dog could have spooked them and they could easily have bolted among the players and spectators.’’

The secretary also claimed that they made a bad situation worse during a recent emergency, adding ”Only last week during training one of the youth players was injured and while he was lying on the ground awaiting an ambulance, the ponies were running about all over the fields in the fading light as someone was trying to round them up.’’

“The Club feels the horse owners have a collective responsibility to ensure their enclosure is made more secure, or it is only a matter of time before there is a serious incident,’’ said Mr Kearton who has reported the matter to North Lanarkshire Council.

Meanwhile a council spokesman said:“We have put temporary signs in place outlining the responsibilities both dog walkers and horse riders have. “While horse riders have access rights it is dependant on them being responsible.The key message is ‘take responsibility for your own actions.”