A trader who responded to a rider’s concerns about his driving by saying “I think horses should be in fields” has told H&H: “I’m quite a rude person”.
Paul Brennan said his reply to Vicki Smith’s email of Monday (25 March) was “typical for me”.
Vicki had found the contact details of the company named on Mr Brennan’s van, which she said did not appear to slow down despite her requests, while she was riding her horse in Oxfordshire.
She wrote: “I would like to highlight some irresponsible driving of one of your vans,” adding that she appreciates people do not have to slow down to pass horses by law, but that the advised maximum speed is 15mph.
She said her horse is good in traffic but was spooked by the van, that horses and riders have been killed as as result of being spooked by fast-moving traffic and that owing to a lack of bridleways, riders have to hack on roads.
“I would appreciate it if you could have a word with your driver to raise awareness of the potentially very serious consequences of his driving,” she wrote.
Mr Brennan’s reply read: “Thanks for your message, I think horses should be in field and cars and vans on roads. If your horse is not safe in traffic, keep it in a field.”
Vicki posted the email and response on social media, where it has been shared hundreds of times.
“It was his reply that angered people,” she told H&H. “I know he’s had a lot of emails now, and phone calls – so many people have had incidents on the roads, they’re now getting their own back on this poor bugger.
“It was a ridiculous reply. I was annoyed with him for potentially putting my precious boy at risk, but I think he’s just annoyed someone’s criticised his driving.”
In reply to an email from H&H about the incident, Mr Brennan said he passed Vicki wide – which she does not dispute – that he was not speeding, and did “slow slightly, however it seems I did not slow enough to satisfy Vicki”.
“I am quite a rude person so my reply to her email is typical for me, as it happens I do think horses are best kept in fields but I do appreciate that’s probably not much fun and without a horsebox I guess it’s the roads,” he said. “As it happens I do typically slow for them, I’m just rude when poked, politely or not.”
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Mr Brennan added that however rude he may be, that “does not touch the sides” compared to the emails he has received during the past few days calling him “every name under the sun” and telling him he “nearly killed this lady and her horse which was not the case”.
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