A rider was injured when her pony spooked into a fence after a driver deliberately beeped his horn as he sped past her.
Rachel Wright was riding her appaloosa gelding Raff on the Weston to Helmdon road, in south Northamptonshire, at about 6.15pm last Saturday (22 April) when a car “drove up at speed behind her”.
She stopped on the grass verge, but as the car passed her, the motorist continued to sound his horn.
“I could hear him coming,” she said.
“He had a really loud, boy racer-type exhaust and as he came up behind us, he beeped his horn for a good three to five seconds.
“I thought I’d rather get on the verge, out of the way, but as he beeped his horn, my pony jumped into the fence. My right foot went through the stirrup and my left leg got caught on what I believe was barbed wire, then he shot forwards.”
The car drove off at the same speed, which Rachel estimated as 40 to 50mph.
The 22-year-old had suffered a badly cut left leg, while her right leg was also injured.
She dismounted as she was “in a lot of shock” and wanted to calm her pony.
But as she was alone, she had to remount, with her left leg bleeding badly and unable to weight-bear on the right, and ride the mile back home, after which she was taken to hospital for treatment.
She now faces further tests, as doctors need to determine whether an abnormality detected is a slight fracture to her pelvis, or caused by the muscle having been torn away.
She also suffered whiplash injuries.
“How I got home, I don’t know,” she said.
“I’m lucky; Raff is so good, he didn’t run off and he was so steady all the way back home. I checked him the day after and he’s fine.”
Asked what she would say to the driver if she were to meet him, Rachel added: “What the hell were you thinking? This is how people die on the roads.
“I wasn’t doing anything wrong, I had high-vis on, we weren’t on a corner – if a car had been coming the other way, there would have been a head-on collision.
“It was very scary, I can’t believe anyone would be that inconsiderate.”
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The car was a faded red Volkswagen Polo, possibly a Y registration, with a “loud exhaust”. It had tinted windows, a yellow and green bumper sticker on the driver’s side, and there were four people inside, all white men in their late teens.
Rachel added: ” I would also like to thank Northamptonshire police for their quick response, Banbury’s Horton hospital for looking after me and the wonderful horsey community for making people aware of my accident. Hopefully we will catch this person!”
Police would like to speak to anyone who saw the incident or recognises the car involved from the description.
Anyone with information should call police on 101, or Crimestoppers in confidence on 0800 555111.