A rider who lost her horse in a road accident was among those acknowledged in the British Horse Society’s (BHS) annual Sefton Awards.

This year, the society recognised five individuals in a ceremony at the Household Cavalry. BHS volunteer, Trisha Sarnecka was among those. The rider was involved in a road accident in 2020, where her horse Jazzy was fatally injured and Trisha suffered serious injuries.

Tricia was determined that some good should come from this, and has dedicated time to support the BHS Dead Slow campaign, which aims to educate drivers on how to pass horses safely.

She was recognised for the part she played in the launch of Dead Slow signs, alongside Hampshire Police, where the accident happened in Hawkley. Hampshire County Council has since agreed to place more signs to highlight the safety of equestrians on UK roads.

Positive change

Tim Brier was praised for his efforts to improve safety, build relationships and encourage grassroots activity in Kent and beyond, while Elinor Chalmers was acknowledged for being the driving force behind research into the effect of electric cars on horses ridden on roads.

Ian Keal was also praised. He started a campaign to address the issue of road safety in and around the villages in Lincolnshire around two years ago. As a volunteer, and by carrying out community speed checks, Ian has made a “remarkable difference” to the riding community in his area.

Jodie Slone was commended for her work on a campaign to help raise awareness among road users, specifically focusing on riders and how other road users should behave around them. Working with the BHS, the campaign resonated nationwide and beyond, with one poster shared around 50,000 times on Facebook and adapted for US audiences. Jodie has since taken up the position of road safety officer in the Southwest of England (Dorset).

“All recipients of a Sefton Award have demonstrated considerable passion and determination to improve the safety of equines and equestrians across the UK,” said Alan Hiscox, Director of Safety at the BHS. “The work these particular individuals have undertaken has been truly commendable and all of us at the BHS are extremely grateful for their outstanding efforts and commitment.”

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