‘He just took off’: rider pursued by group of dirt bikes

  • A rider who was pursued on the road by a group of dirt bikes wants to “spread the word” to prevent any similar situations from happening in the future.

    Amanda Townsend was hacking with a friend last weekend (4 February) when they met the riders, in Gloucestershire.

    Amanda told H&H the pair were on a country lane, approaching a junction with a slightly larger road, when they first heard the bikes.

    “I thought my horse seemed a bit edgy, and that something was going on, then I heard a noise and turned around,” she said.

    “In that moment, he’d already decided they were frightening and had taken off.”

    Amanda had been planning to turn her shared horse Bazil right out of the junction, towards home, but that was the direction from which the bikers were approaching, frightening him into heading the other way.

    “I was trying to slow him down but the bikes were still behind; there was no way he was going to stop,” Amanda said.

    “When they did come past, he was cantering, if not galloping down the road, but I thought at least if they’ve gone he might stop, but there was still one buzzing away behind us. The others had gone but this one just kept coming up behind.”

    Amanda’s signals to the biker to slow down had no effect, but eventually she managed to pull into a lay-by and stop Bazil.

    “I turned him to face the bike and the lad riding it looked at me and I said ‘turn your ****ing engine off.

    He made eye contact but just rode past, at no point was there any apology or asking whether I was all right.”

    Amanda reported the incident to the police but with no evidence, knew there was little they could do.

    “My friend saw what happened as she was behind and she said it looked like they were almost encircling me, or trying to race me, like it was sport,” Amanda said.

    “I knew the police couldn’t do anything, but the officer did say they were breaking the Highway Code and they could have given them a warning, and had a chat with them.

    “It wasn’t their fault the bikes spooked the horse, I’d never blame them for that, but if a horse takes off full pelt in front of you, you’ve got to think that’s not normal.

    Continues below…

    “There were no injuries but we were lucky. At one point, we were on the wrong side of the road; had a car been coming, there wouldn’t have been a lot of room, and the most upsetting thing was that none of them even showed any concern.

    “I thought I want to spread the word, to raise awareness, that they are about, and at least if it happens again, there’s a record.”

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