An event rider who was involved in a potentially catastrophic road incident is calling for drivers to take greater care when passing horses.
Northern Ireland-based Adam Gibson was riding along Huntly Road in Banbridge on Sunday (13 August) when a car overtook and his horse bolted.
“Some idiot decided to overtake at about 60mph and as if that wasn’t enough, he blared the horn while he went past,” the 19-year-old Hartpury student told H&H.
“My gelding, Rosshaven Last Flight (Playboy), took off on quite a steep hill and I had to be careful how I dealt with the situation so he didn’t slip or come down on his knees.
“He galloped for about a third of a mile until I found a grassy verge where I thought I could pull him up, but he wasn’t listening and I couldn’t stop him.
“There was quite a severe bend but luckily there wasn’t oncoming traffic – there was no way they could have stopped in time.
“Eventually he slowed down and I was able to jump off and grab him.”
Adam led the nine-year-old back to his yard, where he discovered his horse had a nosebleed, which he believes was caused by stress.
Playboy, who Adam has owned for two months, recovered and is now back to his normal self.
“He’s done novice eventing, showjumped up to 1.10m and hunted, a bit of a schoolmaster, but the experience got the better of him,” said Adam.
“I took him out on the road this morning and he wasn’t fazed at all.”
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Adam shared news of the incident on Facebook and hopes that it will help encourage drivers to pass wide and slow in future.
“I was gobsmacked by the response, it’s had more than 6,000 shares,” Adam added.
“I wouldn’t wish this terrible experience on anyone and I want to try to ensure it doesn’t happen again.”