A horse died tragically at dawn yesterday, as it crashed into a ditch in the course of an illegal race intercepted by the Carabinieri, at Palagonia (Catania).
According to reports by ANSA and La Sicilia, a routine patrol car of the Nucleo Radiomobile noticed an unusual number of motor scooters and cars milling about. The alarm was raised immediately at HQ and soon a support team of patrol cars arrived. They found the usual organised criminal gang scenario: an illegal trotting race involving two horses, escorted by a fleet of scooters and cars full of spectators, punters, and lookouts.
During the police intervention, in the general rush to get away, one of the race drivers jumped out of his sulky onto a scooter, and the panicking (and quite likely doped up) horse crashed into a ditch and was killed instantly by the force of the impact.
The Carabinieri, whom we applaud, detained 16 persons, all from Catania, all between the ages of 17 and 38, and many of whom already have form. They were charged with resisting arrest, animal abuse leading to death of the animal, and blocking a public thoroughfare. Investigations are ongoing to identify the driver of the dead horse, and the remaining persons present at the race.
(In the photo by lasicilia.it: the sulky pulled by the dead horse)