Eventer Simon Grieve has reiterated the importance of having public liability insurance and wearing high-vis gear while hacking after he and a horse were hit by a car.
The Badminton-bound rider and H&H blogger was on a single-track road with another horse and rider on the morning of 11 April when he heard a car approaching.
Both riders trotted on so they could pull into a lay-by out of the car’s way but as the vehicle passed, Simon’s horse spooked, into its path.
“You never think it will happen to you but this just goes to show, it can happen to anyone,” Simon told H&H.
“We did everything right. The horse just spooked at something in the garden and jumped straight into the car.”
The horse hit his shoulder and Simon his leg on the car but both were unhurt, as was the driver.
“You get that ‘I can’t believe this is happening’ feeling, then straight away, think: ‘Oh god, is my horse ok?’ and only afterwards: ‘Oh god, am I ok?’!” Simon said.
“The car wasn’t ok and the driver wasn’t amused, but the main thing is that everyone’s fine.”
Simon was wearing high-vis gear, as he always does while hacking.
“I think it’s really important,” he said. “You want to encourage people to pass wide and slow, and apart from anything else, wearing it shows you’re doing everything right; dotting the Is and crossing the Ts.
“And it was such a relief to know I was insured. Lycetts, which does my public and employer’s liability cover, has been absolutely fantastic. You’re worrying enough about whether the horse is ok and it’s great to know they’re there.
“It could have been so much worse; if I hadn’t been insured, I could be in a real pickle.”
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Simon said the need to be calm while he dealt with the situation lasted until he got back to the yard, after which the shock wore off and he “started to feel a bit sick”.
But taking his Badminton ride Drumbilla Metro and some others to Keysoe for an afternoon’s showjumping lifted spirits, as “Splash” won the 1.30m class, while Bonhunt Bertie jumped double clear in the newcomers.
“Good old Splash,” Simon said. “He’s always good at cheering me up, as was Bertie, and we came back from Keysoe in credit, which took my mind off it a bit!
“Horses are so good at making you feel better when things don’t go right.”
For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.
In this week’s magazine, out on 19 April, don’t miss our special report from the British Dressage winter championships, plus full analysis from the Grand National — including expert comment, pictures and more. Read our report from the dressage and showjumping World Cup finals, and in this week’s vet clinic we discuss the facts about fitness.