The Florida House of Representatives recently passed HB 979, a bill aimed at prohibiting the sale and use of fireworks within the equestrian preserves in the Village of Wellington.
During the season, Wellington houses approximately 13,000 highly valuable horses that are bred and trained to compete in various equestrian sports. The owners of these horses devote an immense amount of time, energy and financial resources to these valuable animals’ care and training.
It is well documented that horses are startled by loud noises, and they are particularly frightened by fireworks. HB 979 aims to give Wellington the ability to regulate fireworks only within its 9,000-acre Equestrian Preserve Area.
The local bill was sponsored by State Rep. Matt Willhite (D-District 86).
“Wellington is a unique community, known for our equestrian sports,” he said. “The horses that participate in these sporting events are like Olympic athletes, and inspire thousands to travel to Wellington every year. These equestrian sports are an economic driver for the village. Because of Wellington’s unique circumstances, it’s a great accomplishment that the Florida House of Representatives passed this bill. Without it, Wellington will be unable to protect its equestrian citizens and their horses from the use of fireworks throughout the community on designated holidays.”