Police are searching for a female motorist who verbally and physically attacked a teenage rider and told her she was “too fat” for the pony she was hacking.

Ruby Prowse, 15, was riding her grandmother’s Dartmoor Billy on a quiet country road near Truro when the woman stopped her car and started shouting at her.

Ruby’s mother Georgia described how the woman “gave her the v-sign” before telling her to get off the pony because she was too big.

“She got out of the car and grabbed her by the thigh and started trying to pull her off,” Georgia said. “Ruby hit her on the arm with her stick and then the woman started grabbing at the pony’s reins.”

Ruby told the woman if she did not let go of the pony, she would call the police.

“She replied, ‘no you won’t, you’re just a child,’ but with that she got in the car and drove off,” Georgia said.

Ruby’s first response was to dismount 13.2hh Billy — a rescue her grandmother acquired from a charity — and check he was unhurt.

“Because of that she didn’t get a registration,” her mother explained. “Her first priority was the pony but she did get a good description.”

The woman is thought to be blonde, in her 30s and was wearing a grey tracksuit and trainers with “big square sunglasses that covered a lot of her face”. She was driving an older grey Ford seven-seater.

“It was really bizarre,” Georgia added. “While Ruby is 6ft tall, she is built like a beanpole, there isn’t an ounce of fat on her. I’ve never come across behaviour like it.”

Ruby, who competes at BE100, had recently lost her eventer in a field accident and was riding the pony for her grandmother to help get him fit.

“He is only 13.2hh but he’s like a warthog, he’s a tank!” Georgia said. “We recently got a new horse but in a way it was a good job she was riding Billy when it happened as he is amazing in traffic and all sorts of situations. Another horse would’ve been an unknown quantity.”

Ruby was “initially angry” about the encounter — which happened at around 6.50pm last Monday evening (May 14) — but has since been reluctant to hack alone.



Georgia said police had been informed, but they had been unable to track down the motorist without a numberplate.

“We’re just keeping an eye out for the car and making people as aware as they can be,” she added.

A Devon and Cornwall police spokesman confirmed the force is investigating.

Anyone who saw the incident or has any information is asked to email police on 101@dc.police.uk, quoting CR/041762/18.

For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.

In this week’s edition, out on 24 May, don’t miss our “cob special”, including how to find the perfect cob, meet champion cob Our Cashel Blue and more.