Horse & Hound magazine’s road safety survey has revealed the alarming facts about riding on the road

One in seven horse riders has been involved in a road accident in the past five years, and a shocking 34% – one in three – has suffered a “near miss”, where they or their horse has been frightened by a vehicle or narrowly avoided being hit.

These alarming results were revealed in yesterday’s Horse & Hound magazine, following its road safety survey, which was published earlier this year.

More than 1,600 readers responded to the survey, with several individuals having had more than one accident or experiencing repeated near misses.

Horses were injured in 61% of the 220 accidents reported and riders were injured in almost 13% of cases, ranging from slight bruising to fractures and paralysis. Tragically, 14 horses were either killed in the accident or put down as a result of their injuries.

Despite the injuries suffered by horses and riders, the police were called in less than a quarter of cases. And alarmingly, drivers or their insurance companies often tried to take action against the rider, even where the rider and the horse were injured.

“The statistics make shocking reading and action must be taken to prevent these horrific accidents. It is time that the government considered a hard hitting advertising campaign to raise driver awareness of the dangers that horses and riders face every day on Britain’s increasingly busy roads,” said Horse & Hound Editor-in-Chief Mark Hedges.

Read the shocking full report in this week’s Horse & Hound (8 November), or click here to subscribe at a reduced rate.