An owner has shared a terrifying video of a near-miss in which brakes can be heard screeching before a car mounts the verge on the wrong side of the road as it passes her horse.
Niamh Wykeham-Martin was leading eight-year-old gelding Sully, who was being ridden by her 11-year-old sister Izzy, on Callis Hill Road, Wanborough, in Swindon yesterday (22 September) as they returned to their yard.
In dashcam footage captured by Niamh’s partner Matt Lane in the car following them, a loud screech can be heard before a BMW overtakes. Sully can be seen spinning round and moving to the left as the car passes and continues along the road.
“The road goes into a dip and the car came flying down the hill behind us. The driver of the BMW started breaking as soon as he saw my partner’s car and then he had to swerve to move out of the way,” Niamh told H&H.
“Sully spooked when he heard the sound of the brakes and really panicked. I’m just so grateful there wasn’t an oncoming car because the driver had nowhere to go and somebody would have been seriously hurt.”
Niamh got Izzy off Sully, and Matt followed the BMW in order to get the driver’s details.
“A driver in front saw what happened in their rearview mirror and stopped up ahead, which made the BMW driver stop. Matt got there and asked the driver of the BMW what he was doing. The driver said sorry but he didn’t seem sympathetic or bothered, he just wanted to get on his way,” said Niamh.
“Izzy was really upset and Matt took her back to the yard. I led Sully but every car that passed us after that made him stop and spin round.”
Niamh reported the incident to the police and the British Horse Society.
“It’s such a shame as we were so close to home and cars that had passed us before slowed down and gave us space. Sully has always been so good on the road and loves hacking, but this has really panicked him and I’m still shaken up. I think we’re going to have to do a lot of work to get him comfortable around cars. Izzy has ADHD and riding Sully has been really good for her but she is really worried about getting back on,” said Niamh.
“It blows my mind that people think it’s safe to drive like that, I don’t know what must be going through their minds to think when coming to a dip or a blind corner they don’t need to slow down.”
A Wiltshire Police spokesman told H&H the force is investigating the incident and will keep those involved updated as the investigation progresses.
“We’d like to take this opportunity to remind people that country roads and lanes have a high proportion of slow-moving traffic, including animals. We all need to share the highways and have respect for each other. This means thinking about those who might be more vulnerable than you and altering your speed accordingly,” said the spokesman.
You might also be interested in:
Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday, is packed with all the latest news and reports, as well as interviews, specials, nostalgia, vet and training advice. Find how you can enjoy the magazine delivered to your door every week, plus options to upgrade your subscription to access our online service that brings you breaking news and reports as well as other benefits.