Formal warning for driver who verbally abused rider in shocking tirade

A rider who was verbally abused for hacking through a residential area says she is pleased police took the incident seriously, issuing the driver concerned with a formal warning.

Charlotte Knox from North Yorkshire was riding her 15.3hh gelding Boy with three friends along a road in Harrogate around 6.30am on 15 August when a car approached them.

“We heard an almighty whoosh and thought a bus was approaching so we moved to the side and saw it was a car. We recognised the driver as she had threatened us previously for riding past her house,” Charlotte told H&H.

“She began shouting and swearing so I took my phone out to record her. She said we were not allowed to ride past her house until after 8am. I explained that horses are allowed to be on the road and it was a public highway.”

Charlotte said that after the tirade, which lasted a couple of minutes, the woman drove her car towards Boy.

“She honked her horn three times and then drove off. Boy was amazing, he’s only six but he didn’t do anything,” she said.

“I felt really shocked. We rode home and I reported it to the police.”

Charlotte posted footage of the incident online which she said went viral.

“About 99% of comments from people about the video were positive and agreed it shouldn’t have happened, but some said we shouldn’t have been on the road,” she said.

“I’m happy we brought some attention to this because as riders we’re not doing anything wrong. I’m pleased the police took the incident seriously. The woman had a moment of rage and the police said she is deeply sorry.

“People need to understand we’re not on the roads to deliberately inconvenience them. We have a few bridleways in the area, but we need to use the roads to get to them so we’re in a catch 22.”

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A spokesman for North Yorkshire Police told H&H: “Police received two calls on the morning of 15 August, one from a resident in Tadcaster complaining about the noise of horses walking past their home and waking the occupants up in the early hours of the morning. The second call, around half an hour later was from a rider reporting that a motorist had approached them to complain about the noise, became verbally abusive, sounded her horn and steered her vehicle towards the horse.

“The motorist was spoken to by officers and was remorseful about her actions. She was issued with a section 59 warning which means that if it happens again, her vehicle would be seized and she would face prosecution.”

A section 59 warning is issued when a vehicle has been used in a manner causing alarm, distress or annoyance.

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