‘I’ve never screamed like it’: van brushes horse in terrifying ordeal

  • A rider was left shaking in terror when a van flew round a blind bend so close to her horse it brushed his exercise sheet, before skidding and swerving across the road.

    Jemma Fisher, from Wokingham, was riding her 17.1hh thoroughbred gelding Sizzler along Easthampstead Road on 24 September when she heard a vehicle approaching from behind.

    “I thought I could hear a car coming round the bend really fast but it turned out to be a transit van. I raised my arms to ask the driver to slow down but as he came round he brushed Sizzler’s exercise sheet with his bonnet,” Jemma told H&H.

    “The driver then swerved, skidded on a puddle, then swerved back on to his side of the road. I’ve never screamed like it in my life, it was absolutely terrifying to look down and see a van actually touch my horse.”

    Jemma said Sizzler, who is coming back into work after a tendon injury, did not spook as the van only made contact with the exercise sheet.

    “I shouted at the driver and said ‘will you not slow down on a blind bend?’ and I got a load of abuse back. He said I shouldn’t be on the road or riding on a corner – then he sped off. At the time of the incident we were only allowed to hack on my vet’s advice because of Sizzler’s injury as the sand school was too deep for him,” she said.

    “The driver didn’t hit my horse but he still touched us with his vehicle, it was awful. I carried on and held my breath until I got off the road and into the woods, I was shaking.”

    Jemma said this is not the first incident she’s faced on the roads.

    “I had an issue with a lorry a few weeks earlier where it didn’t stop on a narrow country lane and scraped my stirrup as it passed. I remember Sizzler shaking but he didn’t move, we have a really good bond and I trust him,” she said.

    Article continued below…

    “If I could avoid going on roads I would but unfortunately for a lot of yards in the area it’s not possible. We need to use the road for about 20 minutes to get off-road. We constantly face cars speeding past us.”

    Jemma reported the incident to the British Horse Society and plans to get a hat camera in the future.

    “Cameras are such a safety precaution so my parents are going to get me one for Christmas. I’m worried something else could happen on the roads, it’s so easily done when drivers aren’t slowing down. A lot of the people from my yard have faced incidents too; we just want to enjoy our horses,” she said.

    For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.

    You may like...