A rider who fell into the road after a tipper truck driver ignored requests to slow down is urging a council to change the speed limit of a road.
Katy Hogg was riding a friend’s six-year-old mare Dolly, accompanied by a friend on her horse, on the Hog’s Back between Farnham and Guildford, Surrey, on 13 October when the truck failed to slow down.
Katy told H&H: “We were coming back from a hack and were about 120 metres from the yard which is based on quite a busy road. A tipper truck came past and Dolly was spooking because it was rattling. The lady I was out with, who was on a more experienced horse, asked the driver to slow down but he obviously took offence as he turned round further down the road, came straight back and overtook us.
“He was going faster, and with higher revs, so both horses spooked. Dolly went into the horse in front as she tried to get away, who kicked her. She spun round to escape and I fell off on to the road. As Dolly tried to get away, she fell over, luckily missing me.
“It was a really shocking situation, I just remember lying on the ground and he drove off. I tried to get up as quickly as possible but I was stunned and couldn’t walk in a straight line. Dolly, thankfully, was ok, she ran to the other horse and my friend managed to catch her for me.”
Katy, who suffered bruising, has reported the incident to the police after the driver failed to stop but she did not manage to get the vehicle registration plate and is appealing for witnesses.
“One of the most disheartening things about the incident is five or six cars had built up and they all drove off when we were off the road and on the verge. No one stopped to help or ask if we were ok or offer any dash cam footage,” she said. “It gets me as much as the incident itself, the fact that someone would do that to a couple of girls on horses. “It must have been quite shocking to watch; I would stop and help in that situation.”
Katy said there is lots of off-road hacking in the area but riders have to use the road to get to it.
“The next day I said to myself “I can’t let this put me off” so I went out on my own pony, Hillie, to make sure I didn’t lose my nerve,” said Katy.
The review aims to ‘empower cyclists and pedestrians’
The driver sped past the rider before reversing back and getting out of his car
“There are other equestrian centres on the same road, as well as houses and a couple of junctions — I think in that environment with a lot of traffic the limit should be brought down from 60mph to 40mph. A lot of drivers know riders use the road but you’ll get someone passing through who doesn’t know and doesn’t care about horses. I’ve emailed Surrey County Council about the speed limit and I’m waiting for a response.”
A spokesman for Surrey County Council said: “Safety on Surrey’s roads is something we take very seriously and we always listen to the views raised by residents.”
A spokesman for Surrey Police asked anyone who witnessed the incident, or who has any other information, to call 101, quoting incident reference PR/P18246618.
For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.