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Rider hopes footage of road fall will help increase driver awareness

A rider is encouraging others to invest in a hat cam after a passing van driver failed to stop, leaving her and her horse lying in the road.

Sonia Wood was able to provide police with footage of the incident, enabling them to identify the driver and consider charging him with leaving the scene of an accident.

The experienced rider was hacking her 26-year-old Connemara Cannock near their yard in Lincolnshire when the gelding lost his footing as the vehicle passed.

Cannock landed on Sonia’s leg and although the van driver initially braked, he left the scene with both horse and rider still prone on the tarmac.

“We don’t know quite what happened — I moved Cannock over to allow him to pass and the next thing I knew we were both on the ground,” Sonia told H&H.

“The upsetting part was that he just drove off. We could have been seriously hurt, I could have been trapped under the horse, he could have died on top of me, and he just left me there on a country road, he didn’t even shout to ask if I was OK.”

“I can’t be sure whether it was something the driver did that caused him to fall or not but it was a bit bizarre,” she added. “We’d had a lorry and a massive big tractor and trailer pass us already that day and Cannock never moved.”

When Sonia reported the incident to police, they were pleased to learn she had footage of the accident.

“They said that was fantastic,” she said. “Hat cam footage is now regularly being used in the courts and I hope this makes some people think it’s worth investing in a Go-Pro or similar.”

The footage of Cannock’s fall on Monday morning (September 28) has now been shown on mainstream TV news (BBC One Look North), which the rider hopes will make drivers more aware.

“The fall is quite nasty and not nice to watch but hopefully it will make people think. They need to know horses can spook and also understand that you don’t just leave someone lying there,” she said.

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Sonia said she was particularly worried about Cannock, who she has owned for 20 years and used to compete BE, having a fall at his age.

“He has Cushing’s and some arthritis in his knees so I was concerned about him. Fortunately I work as an equine massage therapist, so he’s had heat pads, massages, the works. He’s been a lucky boy in that regard!” she said. “I also put him on the Theraplate which I think really helped him.

“He has scrapes on his knees and a scrape above his eye but I thought he’d be more stiff than he is. We were able to go back out just for a very short time for the first time yesterday (Wednesday).”

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