Owner hopes viral video of horse falling on road will educate drivers

  • The owner of a horse who fell on the road after he was spooked by deer hopes the viral video of the incident will help educate drivers on how quickly horses can react.

    Former traffic police officer Kate Hardt from Staffordshire was hacking with her husband Thomas and friend Janine Brownsword–Dellicompagni, who was riding Kate’s horse Fen when he spooked on Wednesday (6 March) morning.

    Kate told H&H: “It happened so quickly, it was awful. There is a deer park on the left and the deer took Fen by surprise. He reacted, started to spin and lost his footing – the other horses hadn’t even seen them.

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    “We were shell-shocked – it just goes to show how fast things can happen. Fen was a bit battered and bruised, each limb has cuts and grazes but they’re fairly low key. He’s chipper and I’m hoping we can get him back out again soon, I imagine he’ll have lost some confidence after what happened.”

    Kate put the footage on Facebook which has been viewed more than 320,000 times and shared more than 5,000 times.

    “I posted the video as an educational tool so people can see how quickly a horse can react. It’s a non-judgemental video; it’s not blaming a driver, or a rider, Fen isn’t shod so shoes can’t be blamed for him slipping,” said Kate.

    “I care passionately about horse welfare on the road and driver education. We had a near-miss in December when a driver came towards us on a narrow road, sped up and clipped my stirrup. I want people to realise horses can be silly without giving any indication they’re going to do anything.”

    Kate said she’s received a lot of support for the video.

    “It’s gone far and wide,” said Kate. “I’ve had loads of people messaging me about it and giving good wishes for Fen. I was wary I’d receive ‘horses shouldn’t be on the road’ comments but so far people have been very good.

    “It’s been shared on driver training pages, it’s good because if it gets the word out there and one horse is saved from being hit by a car because of a thoughtless driver then it’s done its job. Everyone has a responsibility as a road user to be safe on the road.”

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