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Public fireworks show in Wellington concerns horse owners

Event not subject to new law preventing fireworks at Equestrian Preserve
Posted at 5:51 PM, Jun 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-30 17:57:25-04

WELLINGTON, Fla. — Four of July celebrations are sometimes met with hesitation among the horse-loving village of Wellington.

Cathy Giliberti is among the horse owners with those concerns.

"I'm not saying, 'Don't have fireworks.' I'm saying, 'Don't have them in an area that has these animals, that has the potential for disaster,'" Giliberti said.

She said a new state law that was passed on behalf of Wellington and signed by the governor bans street fireworks in the 900-acre Equestrian Preserve.

Wellington Fireworks law sign
The new state law prevents fireworks at Wellington's 900-acre Equestrian Preserve.

However, the law won't stop the village's professional fireworks show that will be held Sunday at Village Park.

The park is located on Pierson Road, which is the same road that leads to the preserve where horses are located.

Giliberti is an attorney who divides her time between South Florida and New York. She said the effects of the loud bangs and blasts of fireworks can be traumatic for the horses.

"In the long term, they're going to be damaged because they're going to remember this horrific experience to them. They don't know what fireworks are," Giliberti said. "All they know is the sky is on fire and it's booming. They don't know what it is, so they're going to be afraid."

Cathy Giliberti, an attorney and horse owner speaks on Wellington new fireworks law
Cathy Giliberti shares her concern about Wellington's July Fourth fireworks celebration.

Wellington's manager Jim Barnes said the village has been in contact with the horse community, and they've scheduled a 20-minute fireworks show.

Barnes said by having a scheduled show horse owners are able to take precautions, such as medications and earplugs to calm their animals.

The village says the short, booming experience is much different than the long barrage of fireworks all day.