More than 180 road accidents and 150 dog attacks have been reported in the seven months since the launch of website www.horseaccidents.org.uk — and the British Horse Society (BHS) is urging riders to keep recording them.

The BHS said it is pleased with the response from the public to the website, which it launched on 13 November (news, 25 November 2010). It includes incidents with fireworks, gates, windfarms and low-flying aircraft.

The results will be used to lobby the government for safer riding conditions.

Rider Wendy Jellyman from Devon logged a report after a recent scare on a country lane.
“It was a near miss, when a driver showed some road rage, but if we can document evidence and get safer and more off-road riding, I’d encourage everyone to report what happens to them. Next time it could be more serious.”

The society said previously there had been no specific records of accidents relating to horses held by highway authorities and emergency services.

Before establishing the site, the BHS said it had received around two reports a week.

Sheila Hardy from the BHS said: “We had long felt that there was a great under-reporting of equestrian accidents and, sadly, a growing problem with dog attacks. Our website has shown that our fears were correct. But with this hard statistical evidence we hope we will be able to put pressure on those in a position to make changes.”

The RSPCA last week said it would be lobbying the government to update and reform current legislation on dangerous dogs.

This news story was first published in the current issue of Horse & Hound (16 June, 2011)