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Devastated rider’s call for change after horse’s leg broken in hit and run

The devastated owner of a horse who had to be put down at the roadside after a collision with a car that failed to stop hopes his legacy may be action taken to improve horse and riders’ safety.

Annetta Earthy’s beloved Dutch warmblood Fairfax suffered a broken leg when the car hit him last Thursday afternoon (12 March).

Annetta told H&H she heard the car approaching from behind.

“I thought ‘oh my god, he’s not going to slow down’,” she said.

“The car must have been doing 25 to 30mph and he or she – I don’t know – didn’t slow down at all. Then I felt a thud.”

Annetta stayed in the saddle and was unhurt but when she dismounted, she saw 14-year-old Fairfax was on three legs, holding up his off hind. The car had driven away.

“I knew something was drastically wrong,” she said. “I called the vet, and Wilf Bowman Ripley from Ashfields [Carriage and Polo Club] and asked him to come immediately with a trailer.

“But he couldn’t get Fairfax to walk. He was examined by two vets; mine and one who happened to be passing, and we had to put him to sleep by the road.”

Annetta and her sister Katie Isaacs are now urging other riders to sign a petition calling on the government to make drivers abide by sections of the Highway Code relating to horses, by law.

*Sign the petition here*

“We’re really trying to push this petition,” Annetta said. “He was the sweetest, kindest boy and a member of the family. We’re all devastated but there could be something good to come out of this if we can get more people to sign; it could be his legacy.”

Annetta is also keen to identify the driver. She has reported the incident to police and had a generic response but feels “frustrated” at the lack of action, especially as local CCTV shows a small car she believes is the one responsible for the incident.

Anyone with information can call Essex Police on 101.

H&H has contacted the force for comment.

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