Two horses have died and their riders seriously injured after a road collision in Essex.
The riders were hacking on a road in Woodgreen Road, Waltham Abbey, at 11.20am on Friday (7 January).
A vehicle collided with the horses and the riders were taken to hospital for treatment, it is believed by air ambulance.
The horses had to be put down due to the severity of their injuries.
Essex Police is appealing for witnesses and the driver has been reported for careless driving.
“If you saw anything, have any CCTV, dash cam or doorbell footage please contact us,” said a spokesman for the force.
Those with any information can submit a report online at https://www.essex.police.uk or use the ‘Live Chat’ button to speak to an online operator between 7am-11pm, quoting incident 350 of 7 January.
Alternatively call the police on 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
The female riders involved in the collision remained in hospital on Monday (10 January). They suffered cuts bruises and internal injuries.
Carol Gibbs, who is at the same yard as those involved in the accident, said the owners of the horses was devastated.
“They are totally shell shocked and completely devastated to lose what were two very lovely horses, as well as the shock of the injuries that the riders have suffered,” she said.
Carol said Woodgreen Road has become increasingly busy.
“I have been a livery at the yard for over 30 years myself,” she said. “When I very first moved there, Woodgreen Road was actually fairly quiet but over the years it has become more and more busy, with vehicles giving the horses less and less consideration.
“We are very lucky to have Epping Forest on our doorstep, which offers miles of off-road hacking however we have to get there first.
“It’s a relatively short walk to the forest, probably around a quarter of a mile and it was on this short journey that the accident happened.
“We used to have a path cleared through the undergrowth at the side of the road however it was not maintained which has pushed us back out onto the road.”
There are around 50 horses based at the DIY livery yard.
“We are extremely shocked and very angry – we are all well aware how dangerous that road has become over the years,” she said.
A BHSII trainer on the yard and one of the liveries has met with Alan Hiscox, Director of Safety for the British Horse Society (BHS) to discuss the issue.
Your Horse has approached the BHS for comment and further details will follow.
Lead image: Stock picture from Your Horse library, not the horses or riders involved in the incident