Patriotic English fans who attach flags to their cars could be in trouble with the police.
Motorists in rural Hampshire have been warned their World Cup flags are frightening the horses.
"It is commendable that the nation is getting behind their football team, but I do have concerns that motorists may cause an animal to bolt and possibly cause injury to itself, its rider or innocent passers-by," said Police Constable Derek Grist.
Thousands of cars and vans across the country are sporting the English flag, often attached to the radio antenna, in the run-up to the World Cup which starts in Germany on June 9.
Grist, the local force's Equine Liaison Officer, said drivers could face assault charges if their flag flew off and struck a pedestrian or a cyclist and hurt them.
"We are not trying to be killjoys. All we ask for is a little bit of consideration," he said in a statement.