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‘He threatened to kick me off my horse’: driver who failed to slow down verbally attacks rider

Police are investigating after a driver threatened to “kick a rider off her horse” in a frightening road incident.

Debbie Pickford was on a narrow lane in Somerset on her 12-year-old gelding Bandit, when she heard a car approaching quickly from behind on 20 June.

“The driver didn’t slow down and as he passed us my schooling whip hit his car,” Debbie told H&H.

“He slammed on his brakes, skidded to a halt and got out of the car. I asked him why he hadn’t slowed down and he started shouting.”

Debbie captured the incident on camera.

“He swore and threatened to kick me off my horse, then he got back in the car and drove off. Bandit was as good as gold but I was quite shaken up and thought ‘what if he comes back?,” said Debbie.

“We have lots of children on the yard and I kept thinking what could have happened if it had been a child on a pony.”

Debbie reported the incident to the police and on the British Horse Society incidents website.

“It turned out the man lives locally and I’ve heard from other riders who have had issues with him too,” she said.

“I gave the footage to the police – they were shocked and said there was enough evidence to do something about it.”

Debbie said she received an update from the police and was told the man had been unremorseful of his actions.

“The police said at first he denied it happened, but after he was shown the footage he said he couldn’t see what he had done wrong and told them horses shouldn’t be on the road,” she said.

“It just shows how important camera footage is because without it they wouldn’t have had the evidence and it would have been my word against his. Of course we shouldn’t have to wear cameras, but with the amount of traffic nowadays I wouldn’t leave the yard without one. It’s not that the police don’t want to help – they can’t if they don’t have the evidence.”

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Debbie posted about the incident on the Pass Wide and Slow facebook group, which has received more than 7,500 reactions.

“I can’t believe how much reaction and shares my post has had,” she said. “I hope it shows why we need to keep reporting incidents – if we don’t they’ll keep happening.

“If this incident has made at least one person aware then that’s something positive to come out of it as I do think some drivers still don’t know how to pass horses. There needs to be more campaigns by people like the police and there should be more in the Highway Code, it’s about us all sharing the roads.”

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