Chatteris rider puts out plea for drivers to be more aware

Hazel Bannister and Jester
Hazel Bannister and Jester

A Fenland event rider is calling on motorists to show more consideration for horses on the road.

Hazel Bannister is asking drivers to be more aware of horses when they are out on the road hacking or being transported to shows.

The British Horse Society is campaigning to improve road safety for horse riders. Between April 2011 and March 2012, more than 4,000 horse riders and carriage drivers were taken to hospital with an injury following a transport incident.

Miss Bannister, who lives in Chatteris, has spoken out after almost being hit by a swerving driver while towing her 15.2hh Connemara gelding Jester along the A141.

She said that most drivers around Wimblington, where she hacks out while wearing hi-visibility clothing, are courteous.

Miss Bannister is calling on drivers to go past horses at a sensible speed and distance.

She said: “It is the minority not the majority who seem to have no imagination or appreciation of what could happen and how important it is to keep a safe distance and speed.

“I always drive at a reasonable speed when I’m towing but I still see people get up close and overtake.

“Sometimes they cut in front of you. I can’t slam on the brakes as hard as they can.

“And if a horse doesn’t know what’s happening it can fall over.

“Unlike humans, if a horse is injured it might have to be put down.

“We are not on the road to annoy you.”