Derbyshire horse rider says drivers are 'getting worse' as she organises safety ride

A Derbyshire horse rider is organising events to raise safety awareness amid concerns motorists on the county’s roads are becoming more impatient.

Friday, 6th August 2021, 1:46 pm

Terri Amber is urging people to take part in the Pass Wide and Slow Ride 2021 on Sunday, September 19 – a series of rides to highlight the importance of road safety around horses.

Rides are taking place across Derbyshire and nationally to raise awareness of the fact close to two horses die on the country’s roads every week.

Terri, of Dronfield, said: “There is no doubt that roads have become less safe places to be since the first lockdown. Drivers’ attitudes towards horses they meet on the roads appears to be getting worse.”

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Horse riders at a previous Pass Wide and Slow Ride in north Derbyshire in 2019.

The statistics support Terri’s argument, with 1,037 road incidents involving horses being reported to the British Horse Society (BHS), a 23 per cent increase from the previous year.

"This is only the tip of the iceberg,” Terri said. “Far more incidents go unreported.

"I’ve experienced it myself several times with near misses. On one occasion a motorbike came up behind too fast and I got stuck in the stirrup.

North East Derbyshire MP Lee Rowley and horse riders at a previous Pass Wide and Slow Ride in 2019.

“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. And it only takes a few moments of your time.”

Recent incidents have helped to encourage Terri to organise local Pass Wide and Slow Ride events – with a previous ride in 2019 attracting 15 riders.

Terri’s ride, which she is organising alongside Claire Brooks, of Access for Riders, a group committed to improving access to off road riding, will depart from Stubley Hollow Farm in Dronfield at 11am.

Terri is also holding an event where riders can discuss safety concerns and access to off-road riding with North East Derbyshire MP Lee Rowley and Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins.

This is also at Stubley Hollow Farm, Stubley Lane, Dronfield, on Thursday, September 9 at 7pm.

For more information about Pass Wide and Slow events visit the Facebook page.