Latest Jamaica News, Westmoreland: The longstanding issue of illegal horseback riding in Negril, has resurfaced yet again.
Despite the state of emergency underway, illegal horsemen are still riding all over the beach with impunity it appears.
Reports coming out of the resort town are that three tourists were injured by a horse in the vicinity of the Negril Palms resort this morning.
“I hear three people were thrown off horses, one of them was more injured than others, perhaps kicked,” a source in the town said in relating the incident.
Unconfirmed reports are that one of the guests sustained a broken collar bone, while the other two received minor injuries.
Complaints about illegal horseback riding business based at the Long Bay Beach strip date back to as far 2013, to no avail.
The contention about the horses has surrounded the fact that the animals are allowed to defecate along the beach strip and were threatening to mow down beach users. They also said no attempts had been made by the relevant authorities to impound the animals or prosecute the owners who were renting the horses to tourists.
The practice has also been described as “one of the most pressing” and “dangerous problems” by one hotelier who said the beach was being used as a race track, and that tourists have been riding the horses along the beach with little regard for their own safety or for that of other beach users.
In 2014 one hotelier reported that the child of a manager at one of the all-inclusive hotels had almost been run over by one of the horses.
The issue of the horses was first raised at a meeting in October 2013 by a Tourism Courtesy Corps (TCC) officer, who said officers had prosecuted persons in who had been spotted taking horses on to the beach. He also said there were incidents of visitors, as well as Jamaicans, sustaining injuries while riding on the beach and having to be transported to hospital by TCC officers.
However, then commanding officer of the Negril Police Station, Superintendent Ryan Gayle, said while his department had made concerted efforts over the years to curb the problem, after the horses are captured by the police, some stakeholders fail to honour their commitment to remove the horses from the Negril Police Station.
In November 2017, a guest from Mississippi in the United States of America was injured in a horseback ride that went awry.
The guest, who was flung from the horse, was assisted by a nurse and emergency medical technicians from the Emergency medical services of the Negril Fire Station, who transported her to the Savanna-la-Mar Hospital in Westmoreland.
The incident occurred after the horse went on a wild rampage, galloping all over the beach strip, sending on the busy beach scampering for cover while destroying everything in its path.
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