The mother of a teenage horse rider who was injured after a road traffic collision has urged both drivers and riders to be safety conscious.
Vicki Daniels received a phone call to say her 14-year-old daughter Chloe and her pony had been involved in an incident with a double-decker bus on Sunday (January 24).
The Ashlyns School student was out hacking on the Hemel Hempstead Road between Hemel and St Albans with 19-year-old pony Puzzle and three friends when the collision happened – leaving her with whiplash, cuts, grazes and soft tissue damage to her ankle.
She refused medical treatment at the scene but her parents later took her to the Urgent Care Centre in Hemel Hempstead when she complained of back pain.
She was then transferred to Watford General Hospital on a spinal board as a precaution, but was discharged later that day.
The pony suffered cuts to its legs, but has received vet treatment and is doing well.
Mum Vicki, who is a former horse rider herself, said: “It could have been so much worse – I can’t even think about what could have happened.
“There aren’t enough warnings out there about horses.
“Puzzle is as tough as old boots – she’s been there and got the T-shirt.
“But other horses aren’t so confident.”
Herts Police have confirmed the incident is being investigated as a road traffic collision.
A spokesman for the force said: “We cannot say any more at this stage as the investigation is on-going, but we’d certainly ask any witnesses to the incident, or who saw the vehicle or horse in the moments leading up to the collision to come forward and speak with us.
“They can contact officers via 101, quoting reference ISR 287 of January 24.
The Highway Code states while passing a horse and rider, drivers should leave two metres between their vehicle and the animal.
Road safety campaign group THINK! had the following advice for motorists:
> Slow down and be ready to stop if necessary;
> Look out for riders’ signals to slow down or stop;
> Watch out for sudden movements, horses can be easily frightened and unpredictable;
> Don’t sound your horn or rev your engine;
> Pass wide and slow when overtaking, giving the horse plenty of room. Don’t accelerate rapidly once you have passed them.
The campaign group has the following advice for horse riders:
> Always display fluorescent/reflective clothing on both horse and rider, whatever the weather or light conditions;
> If at all avoidable, don’t ride in failing light, fog or darkness. Avoid icy or snowy roads;
> If riding a horse that is not used to roads, ask a rider with a horse who is experienced and calm to accompany you;
> Never take a mounted group of more than eight horses on the road;
> If riding two abreast, move into single file as soon as it is safer for the motorist to overtake. Don’t ride more than two abreast on the road;
> Always cross major crossings in a group, rather than trickling across one by one;
> Leave details of your intended route and estimated time of return with a responsible person.