Three dangerous drivers leave rider, Claire, in tears

A horse rider was left in tears following three dangerous incidents on the road in one day.

Claire Woodward, 33, from Shanklin was riding her five-year-old mare Twiggy, on Monday (10 December) when she encountered the near-misses. Claire’s story, told in her own words, is as follows: “I genuinely cried today out hacking on my horse.

“I had to use three separate small stretches of road during my two-hour hack connecting the bridleways. Not once, not twice, but three times, each on a different section of road, I had near misses with cars that refused to slow down or give Twiggy adequate space.

“The first was travelling at least 40 miles an hour and completely ignored my desperate arm signals to slow down, instead choosing to pass by us without even so much as changing down a gear. The car was so fast that Twiggy spooked, jumped forwards and skidded on the road.

“The second occasion happened on a section of road with double white lines. This means no overtaking unless safe to do so, not overtaking on a blind corner, at speed and revving your engine.

“The third was a narrow quiet country lane. The van came round the corner at speed, saw my horse and never slackened, going past us at well over 30 miles an hour. This was just too much for my poor girl. She threw herself against the hedge and again skidded on the tarmac, almost falling over.

“I just burst into tears. You wouldn’t pass a child on a bike like that. What makes horses different? In a two-hour hack, I was on roads for a total of 15 minutes and was lucky not to have been seriously injured or killed three times.

“It is not only my life and that of my best friend you put at risk by not slowing down, it is yours. How well do you think you will come off if a 1200 lb animal smashes through your windscreen?” Claire asked.