Derbyshire event discusses problems faced by horse riders on roads

An event has taken place in Derbyshire to discuss the problems horse riders encounter on the county’s roads.

Sunday, 12th September 2021, 3:50 pm
Updated Sunday, 12th September 2021, 3:51 pm

Twenty-five horse riders, along with Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins and North East Derbyshire MP Lee Rowley, attended the meeting at Stubley Hollow Farm in Dronfield on Thursday night.

The event was organised by Terri Amber, of Dronfield, who said: “There is no doubt that roads have become less safe places to be since the first lockdown.

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Derbyshire horse riders have met to discuss issues they face on the roads.

“Drivers’ attitudes towards horses they meet on the roads appears to be getting worse.

“The topics covered (at the meeting) included the need for more and ongoing education of drivers, changes in the Highway Code, and the failure of the law and police to protect horse riders.

“These issues were highlighted by Claire Brooks, founder of Facebook group Access4Riders, a local bridleways group, and a British Horse Society (BHS) bridleways officer.

“Karen Haywood, another BHS bridleways officer, then outlined the problems around access for riders to off-road riding and the fragmented nature of our bridleways network.

“Questions were taken from the floor, where local riders had the opportunity to express to their MPs their frustration with the situation and how frightening it could be to ride on the roads, in order to access any bridleways.

“Mr Perkins and Mr Rowley then each made a short speech, promising to help improve the situation wherever they could.”

The meeting was a prelude to the Pass Wide and Slow Ride event planned in Dronfield for September 19.

This ride will depart from Stubley Hollow Farm in Dronfield at 11am.

Pass Wide and Slow Ride events will take place elsewhere across the UK to highlight the importance of road safety around horses.

Terri told the Derbyshire Times about some of the incidents she has encountered on the roads.

“On one occasion a motorbike came up behind too fast and I got stuck in the stirrup,” she said.

“I also had a lorry driver come really close maliciously and he shouted ‘get back in the field’ when he went past.

"There are also people who create danger without meaning to, simply by going too fast or passing too close to the horse.

"I’d urge people to take notice of what the rider is saying. They are the best person to assess the risk.”

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