“Promoting safety for horses & riders on UK roads”
©2014 Horses & Road Safety Awareness
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Laura and Jago “My friend and i were hacking out, me on my younger horse and my friend on her older pony. We had only set out when a BMW came along and went to over take us. She was going too fast and was far too close, so much so that my young horse spooked and ended up stepping backwards. As he did he sat on her bonnet as she had fortunately been able to stop (or he would have been through her side windows!) She got out and said she closed her eyes when she saw my horse spook and thought we had gone through the windscreen and was afraid to open her eyes again but that she better move her car into the hedge so that others could go past then called the police. When the police arrived she told them that my horse had gone crazy and “buck leaped” onto her car and then started to attack the car and was clearly out of control and she knew this because she saw the whole thing. She said that she was as far over as the road allowed her and that since the accident she had not moved her car. This was obviously a lie, but she said it and tried to blame me! My horse was okay but he had a bruised rump and scarred his hoof.  ”
Real life stories
Claire Marshall “Summer 2012, end of the school holidays and my daughter was due to start her first job the next day. She decided to go for a hack on her 15 year old Pony Club jumping pony that we have had since he was 4 years old.  He is a 13.3hh Connemara cross who she still competes at local events and she knows him inside out. About 2.30pm I got a call from her to say that they had been hit by a lorry!  Her Dad was working just down the road and rushed to see her. She had been heading for home, on a 40mph B road.  Riding up hill towards a left hand blind bend she was on the pavement.  Maybe not legally correct but she actually felt safer doing that.  She heard the livestock lorry coming, however as he approached we believe he gave her no room at all.  The pony spooked and swung his bum out as the lorry was so close.  We do believe the Pony saved her life.  She came off, but luckily kept hold of the reins.  The Pony actually pulled her out from underneath the lorry’s wheels! The lorry did stop but no real assistance was given and as they were both standing and the Pony was getting agitated he carried on his way.  Her jodhpurs were ripped and looked like they were covered in blood, however this was actually paint from the lorry!  How much contact do you have to have to get that much paint transferred?  Her boots were also damaged as was the back of her saddle.  The Pony had friction burns on his side but otherwise appeared OK. She knew the local Lorry firm and when she met up with her Dad he phoned the haulage company.  He spoke to the boss who advised that they would pay to replace her jods and boots (the saddle damage wasn’t so obvious until untacking later) and he would speak to the driver.  The driver advised his boss she had been riding in the middle of the road, he had slowed down and given her enough room but the Pony had spooked into him!  The Company phoned to say they were not at fault and wouldn’t be paying anything! At this stage we got the Police involved.  We had hoped we could resolve it without involving them as we don’t believe in bothering them if we don’t need to! I think it was also at this stage I placed a post on the HRSA facebook page.  The feedback from others, especially the advice regarding involving a Solicitor, was very helpful. The Police took a statement and the following week the local paper covered the story and appealed for witnesses.  No witnesses came forward and as it was her word against his they were unable to take it further. Our local Solicitor was great.  My daughter qualified for Legal Aid with a contribution of £21. All we wanted was compensation to cover her jods, boots and saddle, this amounted to no more than £750.  Our Solicitor though that the small amount was actually in our favour, it would cost the company more to fight the claim!.  Letters from the Solicitor to the firms Insurance Company went unanswered and each time we had a chat with the Solicitor we wondered if it was worth continuing.  We didn’t really have much to lose – even taking them to the small claims court wouldn’t cost more than £75! (Please note we are in Scotland and the law could be different in England). We advised the Insurance Company that we would accept a reduced amount in order to settle the claim otherwise we would take them to court.  They did eventually come back with an offer but my daughter had to pay her own costs.  Apparently with Legal Aid if an offer of compensation is made you are then liable to pay the Solicitors costs.  This would have left her with about £100 so we declined this unless they covered all costs. 7 months after the accident she received a compensation cheque from the Insurance Company (no liability admitted).  Both my daughter and pony are now OK.  Although she does feel more apprehensive when riding on the roads and she does try to avoid road work with the pony as much as possible. He has been OK too but I don’t think he will ever be back to the “bombproof” pony he once was! I think I have gone back to worrying about her the same as when she started to hack out alone about 12 years ago!  I know this isn’t a big major story but if you are in a similar situation do persevere.  Find a good local Solicitor and don’t listen to the so called “friends” who think that she should have been more careful!”
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Lady was 8 yrs old, she was in the riding school where I worked and kept getting colic, the owner had already spent thousands on her because she had a huge operation from the problems with colic and said she wasn't going to spend anymore and was sending her to the meat man. I loved her, i was the only one who ever rode her and agreed to pay the owner what she would get for meat (300) and she would then be making money from me on her livery. It took me a few months of experimenting with food and bedding and hay but eventually I had the most amazing horse who taught me so much and got me through so much. I rode to my house on her one day and got off and she spooked at a little boy who came out of no where on a plastic go cart, she pulled away from me and ran into a road, I ran towards her just as a car came flying down the 30mph road at about 65mph and drove straight into her, she flew into the air and landed upside down on his roof. The front of her chest was smashed and blood was spurting out like a horror film. From nowhere people appeared with quilts and land rovers and trailers and she was rushed off to my vets yard where she spent months, no one thought she would live but she did and I had her until she was 24. She went on from this accident to have a beautiful foal and we, after a few years of time and patience got back to riding in traffic. She died from pneumonia but had had a good few years grazing and slobbing out in long grass at my home with her son and my daughters pony. By the way, the old bloke who was trapped in his car but not hurt said he was in a hurry and thinks he had just blacked out, no one rushed to help him but he did try and sue me, didn't win! Sorry for the long story but I just wanted people to hear a happy ending from a sad event.
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“It was me and my two friends we were hacking down to a funride. And we were nearly there and we could see the other horses in the fields doing the funride and as we turned the corner to walk to the start a motorbike came around he saw us and did not slow down. He was going really fast as soon as he came towards us that fast all the horses span and bolted. I managed to stop my horse Sian but she started spinning and she was very scared. Both my friends horses bolted and they could not stop them one of the horses was bucking and the other one was just running. The motorbike was just speeding along side them dodging them. My friends horse had a massive buck and she fell off and broke her foot but her horse kept on running and went out of sight then the man on the motorbike put his hand up at us and just drove off knowing that someone had fallen off and knowing that a horse is loose. My other friend got her horse back under control and we both went to her. We were lucky because as it was a funride there was already an ambulance near by, so some really nice riders on the funride got the abulance and the organisers caught my friends horse. He was very scared. My friend got taken to hospital and she had months off before she could ride again. It has knocked me and my horses confidence if i hear a motorbike i panic and get really scared and my horse is more on edge around them.”
Sarah Williams “My horse was out with my sharer.  They had gone less than 50 yards out of the driveway when a car drove into them.  It knocked the rider clean off my horse who turned and trotted home.  The driver tried to drive off but was stopped by an ambulance that had seen the whole thing and blocked the road.  The ambulance driver, passenger and two dog walkers all confirmed that the horse and rider did not spook or move into the traffic.  The rider and horse both had hi-vis coats on but the driver said she couldn't see them.  The rider ended up in hospital was torn ligaments but luckily my horse was just a bit stiff not bad considering he is 22 yrs old. Despite the witnesses the police have said they do not have enough evidence to prosecute.  We believe they decided against it as the old lady driver is disabled.”