A drunk driver who collided with a horse and rider in Frodsham last month was three times over the legal limit, a court has heard.

Three horses were being ridden in single file along a lane, with Lisa Bradburn’s horse positioned slightly in front of its companions, when the accident occurred.

Sue Gibson, prosecuting, told the court how Kenneth Stanley, a 48-year-old community punishment officer, drove past the two horses in the rear and then pulled in behind Lisa. His car, a Ford estate, hit Lisa’s horse, which reared up and unseated her. The defendant then spoke with a witness, who called the police, before driving off.

Lisa suffered slight injuries and although the horse was seriously hurt, it has not been put down.

The driver appeared at Northwich Magistrates Court and admitted both drink driving and failing to stop. He was given a 30-month driving ban and an 80-hour community punishment order, and ordered to pay court costs of £50.

“Riders need to be constantly aware of approaching cars from either direction,” says Wendy Peckham, spokeswoman for the BHS. “If they appear to be driving erratically or abnormally, this may indicate a drunk driver and riders should try to take immediate defensive action.

“As far as I am aware, accidents like this one are not common, but drunk drivers are a nationwide problem that is being addressed by police.”

The BHS has been trying to improve riders’ safety on the roads for many years and is holding a safety symposium this October which will examine a number of associated issues, including the relationships between riders and other road users.