A rider has suffered a serious head injury after falling while out hacking.
The 45-year-old woman, was out riding with a friend in Co. Durham on 24 January when the accident happened.
They were riding along Coalford Lane in the village of Littletown, which is lies between Durham and Easington, between 11am and noon.
As the two women approached a junction with a single-lane track, leading to Coalford Lane Farm, they waited for a car to exit and drive onto the main road.
At this point, a second car — described as blue and possibly a hatchback — pulled up behind the riders on Coalford Lane.
As the first car drove off, the blue car started to accelerate away, causing the two horses to bolt.
The riders managed to regain control. However, one of the horses took off for a second time and his rider fell off.
An air ambulance and paramedics attended and the woman was taken to the James Cook Hospital, Middlesbrough, where she is still being treated.
The accident was dealt with solely by the ambulance service at the time, but injured rider’s sister officially reported it to police at the weekend (6-7 February).
Durham Constabulary is now hoping to trace the drivers as witnesses.
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“We would like to speak to the drivers purely as witnesses, there is no suggestion they have collided with either horse or driven in an irresponsible manner,” said PC Ian Cousins.
“The [rider] has been left with potentially life-changing injuries and remains in a serious condition.”
Call 101 with information.