A rider whose trailer separated from her car when she was towing says she will never trust detachable towbars again.
Siobhan Meechan, from Forfar, Angus, was towing without any horses on board, half a mile from her yard, when she heard a “thud” on 9 December.
“The car felt different and I looked in my rearview mirror – I can usually see the bottom part of the window on my trailer but all I could I see was black,” she told H&H.
“I looked in my passenger mirror and could see the trailer trying to overtake me. It went into some bushes up an embankment and dropped on to its side.”
Siobhan said she got out of her car and discovered the towbar was no longer attached and had come away with the trailer.
“It was an absolutely horrific experience. I was heading towards a dual carriageway so I’m relieved it didn’t happen there,” she said.
“I phoned my yard owners Lesley Learmouth and Sue Griffiths who came to help me and another farmer, Euan came and pulled the trailer up. Lots of people stopped to ask if I was ok and a vet who was passing checked to make sure we didn’t have horses. ”
Siobhan said she had the towbar, which she was using for the first time, checked by a professional at a garage an hour before she used it.
“I was shown how to fit it and was told it was working fine. I had explained I was using it for towing horses and was told it was safe,” she said.
The trailer left the road and struck a large tree, severely damaging the trailer
‘I knew it was happening, I could see the trailer going behind me and there was nothing I could do’
“I plan to go back and explain what happened but I feel really shaken up. If I had been towing my 17.1hh mare Beauty and that had happened I don’t know how we would have got her out, I often tow by myself to lessons and shows. It’s really put the fear into me.”
Siobhan posted about her experience online and said she plans to get a fixed towbar fitted.
“One lady commented saying she had an accident with a detachable towbar where her horses were in the trailer, but then some people said they’ve never had an issue with them,” she said. “I want to make people aware of what happened, if someone wants to use one that’s fine and I hope nothing ever happens, but from this experience I’ll never trust one again – I wouldn’t trust it as far as I could throw it.”
Would you like to read Horse & Hound’s independent journalism without any adverts? Join Horse & Hound Plus today and you can read all articles on HorseandHound.co.uk completely ad-free