A horse was dragged along the road for 50m after his reins became caught on the wing mirror of a bus.

The horse was being hacked out with two companions on the A3052 near Aylesbeare in East Devon on Easter Sunday (27 March) afternoon.

A double-decker Stagecoach bus approached and the horse reared.

As the vehicle passed, the horse’s reins were caught in the bus’s wing mirror and it was dragged for around 50m.

His rider fell and was taken to hospital for minor head injuries.

The horse was not seriously injured and returned home safely.

“We were informed at 4.55pm that there was an incident involving a person who was out on a hack with two other friends,” said a Devon and Cornwall Police spokesman.

“A double-decker Stagecoach was passing the rider at Newlands Farm. The horse reared and managed to get its reins stuck in the wing mirror of the bus.

“Before the bus stopped the horse was dragged for around 50m.

“The rider received minor head injuries and was taken to hospital. The horse suffered no major injuries and returned home safely.

“A vet was called and the horse was found to have nothing but minor scrapes.”


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A Stagecoach spokesman added: “We can confirm we are assisting police with their inquiries into an alleged incident involving one of our buses over the Bank Holiday weekend.

“Safety is our absolute priority and we have also instigated an internal investigation into the incident.”

Road safety campaign

Last week, the British Horse Society (BHS) launched a road safety campaign.

New statistics revealed by the BHS show that in the five years since its horse accidents website was launched, more than 2,000 incidents have been reported.

Lee Hackett, BHS director of policy, referred to the bus incident as “horrific”.

“It is incredible that the injuries were not more serious,” he told H&H. “The horse or rider could easily have been killed.

“Not being present at the accident I really cannot comment on exactly what happened but this further highlights the vulnerability of horses on the road.

“After five years of collecting data we have just launched our campaign and I would urge everyone who loves horses to get involved and support the campaign.”