A rider who lost her mare in a road collision is urging motorists to take greater care around horses.

Beverley Berrill was hacking near Ditchling, East Sussex, when the incident took place.

She was returning home on her horse, Norsey, while leading her daughter’s pony.

“I was riding round a slight bend after a long straight stretch of road,” Ms Berrill told H&H.

“I heard a short screech of brakes, kicked twice and that was it — bang.

“There wasn’t any time — one moment I was trotting, the next moment I was in the air.

“I was totally conscious throughout, I remember thinking, ‘This is going to hurt’. My mare took the complete brunt of it.

“I came down on my left side, and discovered I couldn’t move.”

Norsey was severely injured and had to be put down by a vet who arrived at the scene shortly after the collision.

The pony was not injured in the incident.

“My vets, Cliffe Equine, were brilliant,” said Ms Berrill, who runs a livery yard.

“There wasn’t anything they could do for Norsey.

“I don’t know the full details about — I’m not quite able to cope with that yet.”

Ms Berrill has been campaigning for change with local residents

Ms Berrill had owned the bay mare for 12 years and enjoyed showjumping and eventing with her before putting her in foal. Norsey had since returned to hacking.

She was taken to Royal Sussex County Hospital where she spent 11 days after being diagnosed with multiple fractures of her pelvis, amongst other injuries.

“I’m lucky to be here, if I’d landed any other way I don’t think I would have survived it,” she added.

Ms Berrill is now campaigning for the speed limit to be reduced on local lanes, from 60mph to 40mph.

“I have been speaking to my MP Maria Caulfield who is backing the campaign and the parish council which has been trying to reduce the speed for a long time,” she added.

A spokesman for Sussex Police added: “The driver involved, has been reported for driving without due care and attention, but it has not yet been decided if he should go to court or be given the opportunity to attend a driver training course.”