A rider who was dragged along a road after her mare was spooked by a Land Rover towing a trailer has won £2,500 in compensation.
Nikki, from Bristol, was hacking out with her sister Rachel on 20 November 2015 when the accident happened.
Velvet, her 24-year-old thoroughbred mare, had always been very good in traffic.
The pair were walking in single file when they saw the Land Rover travelling toward them at about 40mph.
The driver came ‘flying’ towards the Gloucestershire village of Dyrham, causing Velvet to spook. She slipped and fell on to the road.
Nikki’s right leg was pinned under the saddle and when the horse got up, her foot was trapped in the stirrup.
She was dragged along for five to 10 metres before she could break free from the saddle.
“The trailer frightened Velvet and she slipped and came down on top of me. She went straight into flight mode and took off with my foot still in the stirrup,” Nikki told H&H at the time.
“I was dragged up the road— all I saw was her feet flicking towards my head. Thankfully I managed to free myself.”
The mare galloped home, leaving the rider in the road. Rachel was unable to stop her horse Dutch following, and he also fell further along the road.
“They galloped for three miles, running right out on a national speed limit road,” Nikki said.
The Land Rover did not stop and the riders were unable to get the registration number of the vehicle.
The incident was reported to the police but the driver could not be traced.
Velvet had a haematoma to her right hindquarter and had strained her back muscles and pelvis. She was out of work for two months afterwards but has since made a full recovery. Dutch suffered cuts to his knee, elbow, fetlock and stifle and had to have stitches.
Nikki sustained a soft tissue injury to her lower back and had a haematoma on her right thigh where the horse had stood on it, while Racehel also suffered bruising.
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A claim was submitted to the Motor Insurers’ Bureau, which compensates victims of negligent untraced or uninsured drivers.
“We argued that the driver of the untraced vehicle had driven contrary to the Highway Code and that even in the event that it hadn’t been pulling a trailer, it was travelling far too fast to safely pass a horse and rider,” said Hanna Campbell, a partner at HorseSolicitor.
The case was settled for £2,500 on 18 July.
The money will be used to recover the costs of the new saddle needed after the accident and Velvet’s treatment.