Calls are being made for riders to carry ID on themselves and on their horse’s saddle, in addition to having ICE information saved on their mobile phones. H&H explains why and what information should be included...
Riders are urged to carry ID on both themselves and their horses when hacking, should anything go wrong – and be aware of the details they should include.
A traffic police officer, who is also a horse owner, said many riders have an “in case of emergency” (ICE) number on their phones, which allows first responders to contact the next of kin, if the phone is working, but that ideally, we should consider wearing armbands, as well as carrying emergency contact information on the saddle.
“Whether an incident involves someone else or is just your horse being silly, it can go horribly wrong,” PC Sam Ainsworth of Surrey Police told H&H. “ICE is better than nothing, but phones can be smashed or thrown from your pocket in a fall.”
PC Ainsworth said she recently attended an incident where it took more than an hour to identify an unconscious rider.
“We need your next of kin’s name, address and phone number,” she said. “It’s imperative to have the details on both parties; if horse and rider part company and we only find the horse, we can make enquiries as to where the rider might be. It’s also important to include the yard details too, ideally in a dog-tag on the saddle as a bridle can come off in a fall.
“No one wants to think about the worst case; if something happens we want our horses looked after, our next of kin contacted, and as officers we want to do that as quickly as we can.”
British Horse Society director of welfare Alan Hiscox told H&H it is important to carry ID, agreeing that saddle tags and armbands should include all vital information.
“There are also many mobile apps designed for emergencies, such as What3Words, which helps emergency services pinpoint your specific location by using a unique three-word address,” he said.
Debbie Smith, founder of the Pass Wide and Slow road safety campaign, told H&H carrying ID is a “must”.
“You could fall off and your phone might break. Riders have to protect themselves and it’s crazy to rely on your phone,” she said. “I have ID on my saddle as my worry is if I fall and the person who catches my horse doesn’t have that information. I also wear an armband.”
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