GARDAÍ HAVE confirmed they are investigating a four-lane sulky race which took place at the weekend and a video of which spread across social media.
The video shows two horses and carts racing at speed down Dublin's N7 motorway with a number of vehicles following behind blocking all the lanes.
Gardaí told RTÉ that they are aware of the video and are investigating the incident. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact their local station.
A 28-year-old man, who asked to remain anonymous, also spoke to RTÉ News where he said he was involved in the race, and that the N7 is a popular spot for sulky racing.
His horse was well taken care of and was in perfect health after the race, he added.
The man admitted that the races could be dangerous but said that it was just a part of the sport.
The Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA) yesterday released a statement condemning the 'dangerous' sport, citing concerns for both the horses and people involved.
"The ISPCA is shocked and appalled at a video being circulated on social media which shows a dangerous sulky road race that took place on the N7 in Citywest, Dublin recently," the statement reads.
"The ISPCA has been calling on the Government for some time to deal with not only the public safety issue but also the serious animal welfare concerns caused by sulky racing and training."
The charity went on to say that driving horses, especially young horses, on hard road surfaces can cause serious injuries, and pointed out that horses have died during races after colliding with a vehicle on the road.
They urged the Department of Agriculture to "identify safe, off-road areas for sulky users where the activity can be regulated appropriately".
ISPCA Chief Executive Dr Andrew Kelly said: "“Driving young horses and ponies flat out at excessive speed on Ireland’s busy roads, often by children as young as 10 years old, is an accident waiting to happen.
"All it takes is a trip or stumble which can be fatal for horse and sulky driver. It is also a risk for other road users and another serious accident or fatality is inevitable.
"In 2018, a 12 year-old boy was killed near Dublin when he was thrown from a sulky into the path of an oncoming truck after the horse which was pulling the sulky bolted across a busy road. Action should have been taken then to take sulkies off public roads."
Mr Kelly went on to describe the common injuries suffered by horses involved in sulky racing, including broken knees and neck injuries, and said that often the injured horses are left to fend for themselves aThe video shows two horses and carts racing at speed down Dublin's N7 motorway with a number of vehicles following behind blocking all the lanes.t the side of the road.
Mr Kelly said "it really is time that sulkies were taken off the road", and urged Gardaí to take a zero tolerance approach and for local authorities to identify a safe alternative to the racing.