A leading carriage driver says her preparation for this summer’s World Equestrian Games (WEG) has been jeopardised because a string of near misses on the roads have left her unwilling to venture out.
Karen Bassett, who is based in Hopwell, near Derby, told H&H that she has been forced to search for a new base.
“The final straw came when a car passed us so fast that it caused my young horse to leap sideways and the whole string missed the vehicle by millimetres,” she said.
“I need a bigger arena — my current one is too small to do all the horses’ work in, which is why I rely on the roads.”
According to Karen, the situation has become worse in recent years — and not just in Derbyshire.
“I have heard so many driving people talking about their near misses,” she said.
But Sheila Hardy, senior safety executive at the British Horse Society (BHS), said no carriage driving incidents had been reported to the BHS to date.
She urged carriage drivers to report road incidents on the society’s dedicated website (see below).
“Conditions for all equestrians, whether they be riders or carriage drivers, are the same and we need to work together in order to stay safe,” said Mrs Hardy.
“We need evidence in the form of hard facts and statistics.”