Pony will not be put down, say Bases

By Anthony O. Miller

AUTHORITIES are not putting down the pony involved in the death last Saturday of a three-year-old Nicosia girl during UN Open Day festivities in the Buffer Zone, British Bases spokesman Rob Need said yesterday.

Need said an equine veterinary surgeon had examined the animal last Sunday, one day after it fatally trampled Vergina Nicolaides during at the Ledra Palace Hotel. The activities had been held to mark 50 years of UN peacekeeping worldwide.

The pony belonged to the Dhekelia Saddle Club, which Need said is a private group of military and civilian Sovereign Bases Areas personnel and British expatriates, not an official SBA activity.

“As far as we are concerned, the pony is not being destroyed. It is being used in horse trials today,” in fact, Need said.

He said Unficyp police had called in a Cypriot equine vet to examine the pony, and the vet had worked up the animal’s complete medical and riding history last Sunday.

SBA spokesman Capt. Jon Brown said the results of the vet’s examination had been transferred to Unficyp in Nicosia, and the Bases therefore could not say what its conclusions were.

Unficyp had no comment on the report, as former spokesman Waldemar Rokoszewski has left Cyprus for other duties and his replacement is not yet on station.

Vergina was pronounced brain-dead on Monday from her injuries and buried the next day. Her kidneys were donated to two people in Cyprus, and her liver to a recipient in London.

Her death generated expressions of sympathy and praise from UN Chief of Mission Dame Ann Hercus, and from President Glafcos Clerides and his government, for the courage and generosity of the child’s parents in the donation of her organs to others.

Pony rides were one of several free recreational activities especially aimed at children attending the UN festivities.