When her horses were terrified by illegal fireworks, this stable owner jumped into action.
Victoria Gillenwater's Scenic View Farm in Knoxville, Tennessee is home to a number of champion American Saddlebred and Friesian horses, horses that are terrorized every Fourth Of July by neighbors and their illegal fireworks.
"I'm tired and I've had enough," Gillenwater said in an interview with WBIR. "The sound echoes through this valley and scares the horses to death."
Gillenwater demonstrated for WBIR how the horses react even to the sound of bubble wrap being popped, bucking and racing around their paddocks. Their reaction to fireworks is even worse, and often dangerous.
"Every single year our neighbors blow off fireworks like it is Armageddon, and the way the sound echoes we've had horses go through fences," Gillenwater said.
"We've had horses hurl themselves against walls that we couldn't compete with them."
She has tried every tactic to drown out the sound of the fireworks, installing multiple fans, a large air conditioner and even blasting music in the barns, but nothing worked, so she tried a different angle.
In an effort to get the neighbors to stop setting off the illegal fireworks, she wrote a few letters to the homeowners association expressing her concern about fireworks in the nearby The Woods at West Valley neighborhood. She did not get a response, but she did notice a few signs that had been posted in the neighborhood, reminding residents that fireworks are illegal.
While it didn't entirely solve the problem, it was a start.
"This horse's life is worth more to me than their right to celebrate the Fourth of July," Gillenwater said. "Go do it somewhere else."