A horse owner is using a photograph of two barely-visible riders to urge others to wear high-visibility gear when riding on the roads.
The two riders were wearing dark clothing and on dark horses with no high-vis gear in Oxfordshire at 5.45pm on Monday (15 October).
Katie Drummond, who keeps her horse in the area, told H&H: “It was my husband and son who witnessed it and my son took the photograph. They were driving and saw the car in front brake hard and then realised there were horses there. You simply couldn’t see them.
“The riders were coming out of a 30mph road heading on to a 60mph. It’s a really fast bit of road and is really windy after the bend on the photograph – you would be on top of them before you see them.
“The light yesterday didn’t change much from the morning to the afternoon so it wouldn’t have mattered if it was lunchtime – they still wouldn’t have been seen.”
As Katie’s son passed the riders he told them they could not be seen easily, and that they should be wearing high-vis but he said they were dismissive of his concerns.
“My son gave me the photograph to share so people can see that as a motorist, you cannot see horses or riders without high-vis on,” Katie said. “It’s such an important message to get out there that riders need to be seen. High-vis is so cheap and you have options of bibs, rugs, bandages. Your horse is so precious, I don’t understand why you would risk putting them in danger.”
Riders only have until the 2 November to sign the petition
The device employs radar and Bluetooth technology to warn riders and drivers of each other’s presence
Take advantage of our sale on Horse & Hound magazine subscriptions today
Katie said she no longer hacks on the roads as she has lost losing confidence following a friend’s accident.
“Around us for the past three days there has been accident after accident just involving cars – it’s even worse on smaller roads if people aren’t visible. You are not doing your due-diligence or looking after your horse by being invisible,” she said.
“Horse riders have to have the same courtesy as drivers and be seen to be safe. The message needs to go countrywide for people to realise they need to be seen at all times.”
For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.