A young girl whose pony was “scraped down the side” of a lorry which failed to respond to signals to stop was left on the roadside to deal with the aftermath.
Katelyn Hogan’s pony Jàger suffered a number of injuries when the driver of the articulated HGV tried to squeeze between the pony and a road island, in County Durham on Monday (11 February).
Katelyn’s mother, Kristina Hogan, told H&H the 13-year-old was 200 yards away from the yard when the incident happened.
“We need to use the road – there’s 200 yards at 60mph then it goes down to 30mph and we can get to off-road riding through a housing estate. Katelyn put her hand up and asked the lorry to stop but it didn’t and tried to squeeze between her pony, Jàger, and a road island. Jàger was scraped all the way down the side of the lorry,” said Kristina.
“Jàger didn’t even spook – he is so safe but he turned his hindquarters into the lorry and kicked out. After the lorry passed he just stood there, he didn’t move. He was shaking so Katelyn got off and two cars stopped to help. I got a phone call from one of the drivers and I ran from the yard to Katelyn.”
The vet was called for Jàger who has multiple injuries including swelling to both his hocks and a fetlock.
“Jàger’s brushing boot was on the road completely smashed up, there’s nothing left of it so it really protected his leg. He has been checked for internal injuries, his hindquarters and hocks are scraped and the vet said his lameness is around a five or a six out of 10 – he can barely put his foot on the floor and his hock is like a balloon. He’s one of those ponies that doesn’t show he’s upset but you can tell he’s in pain, he’s hiding it so well. He’s on box rest and has been given painkillers, but if he doesn’t start weight-bearing soon the vet will come back out,” said Kristina.
“Katelyn was hysterical for a few hours after it happened; she was mostly worried about her pony. When she tried to ride my horse Warrior yesterday she went into panic mode and had to get off in tears – she said she couldn’t do it. She usually has no fear and often rides and jumps Warrior, but this has been a big knock to her confidence.”
Kristina reported the incident to the police.
“The lorry driver was either in a hurry or just careless – he could have killed them both. He must have seen them, Jàger was wearing a bright orange high-vis quarter sheet and Katelyn had high-vis on too,” she said.
“I’m so angry, Katelyn is a child and the driver hit them and left her at the side of the road with an injured pony. I hope it’s not going to set Katelyn back – she has a very good bond with Jàger and they had been planning to go showjumping this season. I’ll need to take Jàger out on the road when he’s better and lead him in hand to see how he is with traffic.”
‘She slammed on her brakes but it was too late’
The rider was knocked unconscious and the driver left the scene
Kristina said she plans to speak to the council about getting more road signs put in the area.
“Some drivers are ok, but others have no respect for horses and think they shouldn’t be there. It’s a busy road, the horses are used to the traffic but we need some more signs warning drivers to slow down for horses – there aren’t enough in the area and there are two or three stable yards down the road,” Kristina said.
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