A rider “terrorised” by 20 teenagers on on mopeds who raced her galloping horse along the road has urged others to be vigilant.
Christina Campbell was riding Karen Ludford’s 16hh cob Raffles in Mayles Lane, Funtley, Fareham on Saturday afternoon (13 April) when she heard engines approaching from behind.
Christina told H&H: “It sounded like a lot of motorbikes, which wouldn’t normally wouldn’t faze me – I usually find them very aware of horses and courteous. Motorbike riders usually slow down or I’ve even known them to stop, but these didn’t sound like they were slowing down.
“Then 20 mopeds came round the blind bend extremely fast. I waved my arm to ask them to slow down but they came very close behind Raffles, revving their engines. One decided to overtake; Raffles was distressed and I kept asking them to stop but they shouted abuse at me.”
Christina said the riders, who she believes were aged about 16 or 17, raced beside Raffles as he galloped away.
“It was pretty scary but all I could think about at the time was Raffles and making sure he was ok – anything could have happened, he could have slipped on a drain cover on the road,” she said.
“I managed to turn into a housing estate and a cyclist who saw what was happening stopped and made sure the mopeds had gone – I don’t know what I would have done if they’d followed me.”
Christina said Raffles, who was not injured during the incident, calmed down very quickly.
“I’ve only recently starting hacking out Raffles for Karen – he’s not a plod, but he’s very sane. I have my own mare and if I had been riding her it would have been a different story. I’m a confident rider but I hate to think what could have happened if it had been a novice riding, or if the road had been busy,” she said.
“As I made my way back from the housing estate to the main road there is a yard nearby and the lady who runs it came over and said the group of moped drivers had done the same thing to two of her liveries. I thought I had to report this if they’re going around terrorising people on the road.
“The frustrating thing is I didn’t get any registration plates because I was concentrating on Raffles so I didn’t have a lot of information to give the police.”
‘I was shouting at them, saying please stop, it isn’t a game; someone’s going to die’
‘He reared up and I came off and landed on my back’
If you want to keep up with the latest from the equestrian world without leaving home, grab a H&H subscription
Christina was advised by the police to consider a head camera but she said not everyone can afford to buy one.
“The incident won’t stop me riding out but it’s made me a lot more aware and I don’t want this to happen to anyone else. It sounds like the group might be known in the area and the police are looking into it,” she said.
“I don’t know what else we can do other than ride out in pairs and make sure we’re aware this can happen. I can’t afford a camera at the moment but I’m going to look into getting a second-hand one.”
A spokesman for Hampshire Constabulary said anyone with information should call 101 quoting reference 41190127907.
For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.