The British Horse Society (BHS) has seen a 250% increase in the number of hacking incidents reported since the launch of its new app in March.

‘Horse i’ enables riders to quickly and easily submit details of incidents they experience on the road straight from their smartphone.

It is is free to download and has been specifically designed to enable riders to immediately report any incidents directly to the BHS.

This includes direct incidents — for example coming into contact with a car — and ‘near misses’, as well as scenarios where riders feel threatened, such as vehicles passing too close, too fast or drivers displaying aggressive behaviour.

“We’re getting towards having a truer picture of what’s really going on on the roads,” said BHS director of safety Alan Hiscox.

It comes after Merseyside Police pulled over more than 40 drivers for passing their horses too fast or too slow while on patrol in Wirral.

“We need evidence to show where the hotspots are for road incidents involving horse riders in the form of statistics,” added Alan. “Those statistics come from riders reporting incidents to us. Then we work with the Police, Rural Crime Units and Road Traffic teams as well as other agencies to educate drivers.”

How the app works

A statement from the BHS confirmed that an incident is classed as an unplanned event that has resulted in a human or horse feeling unsafe (for example road rage), or that has the potential to cause injury (a near miss) or that has already caused injury.

It added that riders can report all problems that occur both on the road and off the road, and that involve dogs, slippery road surfaces, low flying aircrafts or drones and fireworks.

The Horse i app records details of the incident, including the location, date and time, whether any injuries were sustained and if vet treatment was required.

It also asks whether any other agencies are involved, such as the Police or Civil Aviation Authority.

An incident report can be submitted via the app in less than three minutes. However, there is also the facility for the user to take time to add in any supporting details if they wish.

Apple devices: download the app in the App store here

Android devices: download the app in Google Play here

Riders who do not use smart phones can continue to record incidents via the charity’s online form

‘Increasing the number of incidents logged is a key priority’

In the statement, the BHS said it hopes that the app will equip and encourage many more equestrians to report incidents to them, as this will enable the charity to use the data to support its campaigns to improve equestrian safety.

“We know that only one in 10 people report incidents to us, which is why we have produced this simple-to-use app to enable equestrians to report any incident they encounter,” said Alan Hiscox.

“Most people want to report an incident to the BHS as soon as it happens, so this app makes it much easier to log what’s happened to you and your horse the moment you return to the yard when the detail is still fresh in your mind.

“Increasing the number of incidents that are logged with the BHS is a key priority for us in order to create a safer environment for equestrians, as we can act more effectively with better data.”