Members of a Blackpool football club have spoken of their ‘disappointment’ after their playing fields were blighted by eight-inch deep horse hoof prints.
Young football players at Layton Juniors FC were dismayed to find all six of their playing fields covered in the prints when they arrived for their weekend game at Moor Park playing fields off Low Moor Road on Saturday.
Club secretary and welfare officer Amanda Borrino, 49, said: “It all started on Saturday when one of the teams noticed hoof marks on one of the fields.
“I thought it was just on the one pitch, but the next day I found out they were on all six of our pitches.
“We have had clearly more than one horse gallop across every single pitch.
“This is not a one-off – this happens every single winter.
“I have even stopped people on their horses and asked why they are there, and they have told me they didn’t know it was a football field, despite the goal posts being in clear view.
“We work very hard to preserve our pitches rightly for what will probably be another bad winter, and now we have got another day’s work on our hands filling in all the holes.
“It’s just really, really disappointing.
“Some of those holes are eight inches deep – that could be enough to break a footballer’s leg.
“The council doesn’t have the manpower to keep fixing the pitch every time, and there’s only so much we can do as volunteers.”
She added that members of the football club would be filling in the holes with sand to prevent injury on Saturday.
She said: “It’s just so disappointing, because there are areas where riders canexercise their horses without going on the pitch, but many people don’t seem to take any notice.
“It’s not the horse’s fault; they just go where the rider takes them.
“We have had a great response from plenty of responsible horse riders on Facebook showing their support.”
“We are now hoping to campaign for one of thosecurved gates that horses can’t get through.”