The rider of a pony who fell down a five-foot drop after revving moped riders who failed to slow down spooked his companion says she is lucky neither of them was seriously hurt.
Alannah Priestland-Hearn was hacking with her mother Diana along a track that runs alongside a road near Mawla, Cornwall, when they heard mopeds approaching on the road from behind.
Alannah, who was riding her 14-year-old pony Bertie, told H&H her mum’s horse Fleur was spooked by the revving of the bikes.
“They were about four metres away from us when Fleur started cantering on the spot then started rearing and going into Bertie. He tried to get away from her and we fell down the drop,” she said.
“Luckily he was still upright so I was able to get off and climb out but Bertie started scrambling and became more stuck.”
Diana took Fleur to a friend’s yard nearby and called the fire services.
“Bertie was sweating and breathing heavily and I was worried he would die from the panic but he calmed down as I spoke to him,” said Alannah.
“The firemen arrived and said the drop was about five foot. I thought Bertie would have to be winched out but they managed to cut enough branches away using a hand-saw and he was eventually able to free himself. The firemen were faultless; they were so calm and spoke to Bertie the whole time.”
Bertie escaped the incident with minor injuries and Alannah believes the incident could have been avoided had the riders of the mopeds slowed down as they passed.
“The firemen said the mopeds had probably had their silencers taken off to make the revving sound extra loud, but it’s just dangerous. We had a lucky escape; Bertie had a couple of scratches but it could have been so much worse. When I led him home he was pulling me for grass and feeling better,” she said.
“Drivers need to slow down and take more time when passing horses. I don’t know if the moped riders thought they didn’t need to slow down as they were on the road and thought they were far enough away but they would have seen Fleur getting upset as they approached and they didn’t stop or slow down even after Bertie and I disappeared. People need to take more time, they don’t know what a horse is going to do.”
Alannah posted about the incident on social media, which has been shared more than 1,300 times.
“I want to make more people aware of what can happen. I didn’t expect the post to get so much reaction but people seem to be very passionate about it. It’s a good thing if it will make people think and I hope the moped riders might see it too.”
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