‘The driver passed three signs and still hit me’: horse in collision with van on country lane

  • The rider of a horse who was involved in a collision with a van on a notorious country lane has said that it was “only a matter of time” until an incident happened.

    British Horse Society (BHS) accredited coach Jess Green was riding her client’s horse Aureo on Silverhill Lane, Teversal, Nottinghamshire, on Monday morning (24 July) when she heard a vehicle approaching round a bend. Jess stopped Aureo in a passing place, and when a company-branded van appeared, Aureo’s owner’s husband – who was on foot and wearing high-vis as was Jess – asked the driver to slow down but he “kept coming”.

    “The road is 60mph, and thank God he wasn’t going that speed, but he wasn’t going any slower than 30mph,” Jess told H&H.

    “Where we were stopped was two cards wide, so he could have given us more space but didn’t. When he passed I think due to the speed and close proximity Aureo panicked slightly, turned his hind quarters, and the van hit him.”

    Jess said Aureo fell to the ground, then scrabbled to get back up, but could not at first. After a few moments, he managed to stand.

    “The driver stopped and apologised, but that’s not the point. I was in shock and we needed to get Aureo home, so my client’s husband told the driver to drive slowly away,” she said.

    “Luckily we were only five minutes from home so we walked Aureo back and got the vet. He has multiple wounds, but luckily they’re superficial so he’s on regular turnout and painkillers. It was such a relief when my client phoned and said Aureo was going to be ok – it wasn’t our fault, but it weighs on you.”

    One of Aureo’s injuries.

    Jess said the incident “didn’t come as a shock”.

    “I’ve been riding that road for years, and every local rider has a story to tell you about that lane whether it’s people speeding or near-misses. The road is less than a mile long, and we have to use it to get to the trails. Once we’re there we have miles and miles of off-road hacking,” she said, adding that the incident has been reported to the police and the driver’s employer.

    “There is a riding school at the end of the road and kids ride on that road – it makes me shudder to think what could happen. The riding school has a horse warning sign on the road, there’s BHS signs up, but it doesn’t make a difference – the van driver would have passed three different signs and he still hit me.”

    Jess has been back on the road with another horse since the incident.

    “We came across some lovely people who stopped their car for five seconds, we passed and they went on their way. That’s all it took, five seconds of their time,” she said.

    “I see comments from people on social media where they say horses shouldn’t be on the roads, but it’s like they’re trying to justify their actions for endangering lives. If that’s their attitude to other road users then they are the ones that shouldn’t be on the road.”

    A Nottingham Police spokesman told H&H the force had received reports of “a van hitting the rear of a horse after not leaving enough space while passing the animal”.

    “I would like to remind motorists to leave at least the width of a car when passing and to do so slowly – please leave enough room when passing a horse rider to protect both the rider and horse,” said inspector Jon Hewitt, district commander for Ashfield.

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