The rider of a horse who was struck twice by a car in a hit-and-run is campaigning for safer roads.
Emma Davies was returning from a hack with her friend on 22 August in Borden, Kent when a car hit 10-year-old Welsh cob Harry.
Emma, who has part-loaned Harry for six years, told H&H: “We were walking back home and the road goes down to single file. A man driving a grey Volkswagan Passat tried to squeeze past us and hit Harry. My friend, who was in front, turned round and said Harry’s back leg got caught between the tyre and wheel arch – it was awful. The noise it made sounded like Harry’s leg had been broken.
“Harry spun round and I could see the car and knew we were going to hit it. I shouted ’no’ and it hit Harry’s front end. The driver slowed down, but then took off.”
Emma was uninjured in the incident.
“I think Harry was stunned and he stopped – I was shocked how good he was. I was terrified what I was going to find when I got off, amazingly he was just bruised and swollen but very lame,” said Emma.
“There were loads of cars in the area but no one asked if we were ok.”
Emma led Harry 10 minutes back to the yard where he was seen by a vet and she reported the incident to the police.
“The vet said Harry had been very lucky, but we’ve got to wait and see what happens next. We’ve got a back specialist coming out as we think his hip is causing him problems and the vet will come back if things don’t improve,” said Emma.
“Later that day we drove to the Plough and Harrow pub which had CCTV and captured what happened. They’ve been amazing, and some properties in the area said they are going to check their CCTV for us.
“I thought I’d got the registration plate but once I got Harry home I realised I didn’t have it all. I hope with the CCTV we can catch the driver – someone must know who he is.”
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The driver failed to respond to the rider’s signals to stop
‘She slammed on her brakes but it was too late’
Emma said she “is not in a hurry” to ride on the roads again.
“The vet said Harry probably won’t realise what hit him and not be frightened of cars – but even if he isn’t I don’t know how I will be. I’m not ready to take him out again. When I do go out again I’ll get a head camera. It’s not worth risking your horse on the roads. It’s such a shame we’re restricted by roads to get to a bridleway,” she said.
“I want to raise awareness among drivers of horses on the roads. The driver was impatient, if he had just given us 30 seconds to get out of the way it wouldn’t have happened. I saw a Horse & Hound article about the Horses & Road Safety Awareness and the British Horse Society (BHS) Dead or Dead Slow? signs in Northumberland and have got in contact with Sue Whicker from the BHS and she’s advising me how to get the signs put up here. I’m going to contact the Highways Agency officer and try to start a campaign. Something positive has got to come from this and I hope we can make the roads safer. We’ll do what we can and I hope if we can raise awareness then people will slow down for us.”
A spokesman for Kent Police said enquiries are ongoing.
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