A rider who suffered two broken hands in a road collision that also killed the horse she was riding is urging riders to report any incidents to the British Horse Society (BHS).
The charity has worked with Hampshire police and the County Council to put up ‘Dead Slow’ signs in Hawkley, where the accident took place.
Trisha was hacking Jazzy at 11.30am on 27 November last year when a car hit the mare from behind.
“I will never forget the awful sound of when the car struck Jazzy,” Trisha told the road safety charity Brake. “Everything happened so quickly. I don’t remember falling off, I just remember looking up and screaming as I saw Jazzy lying in the road covered in blood.”
The collision caused an open fracture of Jazzy’s hind leg and, despite the severity of her injuries, she was trying to get up.
“I could see the sheer terror in her eyes,” added Trisha. “I had to be taken away as I was distraught watching her struggle to get up.”
At hospital, Trisha was found to have broken both of her hands and multiple cuts and bruises. Jazzy was put to sleep at the scene.
“I am still going through physiotherapy and the crash has had a lasting mental impact on me. I won’t ever forget that day and I won’t ever forget Jazzy,” said Trisha.
The rider added that she is sharing her story in order to help raise awareness of the need for drivers to be careful on the roads, and how vulnerable horses and riders are.
“I’m desperate to help prevent crashes and save the lives of both people and horses like Jazzy,” she said.
“I just want drivers to think that there could always be someone around that corner, so please just slow down and be patient. Incidents like this are entirely avoidable.
“I was able to walk away from the collision without any life-threatening injuries, but many others are not so lucky. I don’t want to be terrified every time I’m on the roads, and nor should anyone else.”
‘So many go unreported’
A statement from the BHS said: “Reporting factual data of accidents and near misses really can make a difference to equine safety as it allows us to lobby and advise MPs, road safety partnerships, the police and other safety organisations.”
However, it can only achieve its goal of making roads safer for horses and riders if all incidents — whether it caused injury or not — are reported to the charity. This is the evidence it needs to show there is an issue in a certain area.
Incidents can be reported via the ‘Horse i’ app, which the charity launched in March this year, on an iPhone or via the charity’s online form.
In June, Your Horse reported that as a result of data submitted by the BHS, mounted police from Merseyside Police rode on a road in the highlighted areas and stopped more than 40 drivers for passing inappropriately.
“It’s proof that the more incidents and near-misses that are reported to us, via our Horse i app or online, the more evidence we have to pass on to the police so that they can take action,” said BHS director of safety, Alan Hiscox.
“Following my crash, I had a meeting with the BHS and found out that not many riders know about their report an incident feature, meaning so many crashes, dangers and near-misses go unreported,” added Trisha.
“If more people knew about this feature it could help prevent future crashes, as the BHS can only put up warning signs or work with local authorities if they get reports.”