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Rider's plea to drivers as horse is hit by van in Bradford
9:00am Tuesday 2nd October 2012 in News
A teenage rider who was flung from his horse when it was hit by a van, has pleaded with drivers to show some consideration.
Simon Barber, 17, suffered whiplash injuries and his horse, Blaze, was left lame following the incident.
Mr Barber, a farm worker, has warned that someone could be killed unless drivers slow down and give horses a wider berth.
The teenager was riding in single file with another young rider along Leeds Road, Idle, Bradford, when they were confronted by the vehicle. They were both wearing high visibility vests.
Mr Barber said: “We had to move out because of a traffic island. I was leading and looked behind to make sure it was safe and then put my right arm out to indicate. The intention was then to get back into the kerb.
“This vehicle, a grey Citroen Berlingo, was coming down behind us. The next thing I knew it was right alongside me and it clipped Blaze’s off hind leg. He lost his footing and collapsed underneath me and was sat down in the road.
“My right foot was scraped down the side of the vehicle and I was flung over to the left. There was a crash, bang, wallop and I was left on the pavement, still holding the horse’s reins.”
The vehicle involved, which is thought to have had three occupants, was driven off towards Greengates without stopping. Mr Barber said there were a number of other cars passing, but nobody stopped to see if he and his horse were all right.
He led Blaze back to the stables, and he cannot be ridden for three weeks.
The teenager was checked at hospital the following day after suffering neck and shoulder pain, and found to be suffering a whiplash injury.
He said: “I hope the driver will be found and prosecuted, because it could have resulted in far more serious injury to both of us. A lot of drivers don’t seem to look out for horses and their riders and some of them are very aggressive.
“We were wearing high visibility tabards with the message ‘please pass wide and slow’, but some people seem to have to pass close and fast. It’s just thoughtlessness.”
Police confirmed they were investigating a fail to stop accident and are seeking a grey Citroen Berlingo with the registration YH12FKF.
Julie Hansord, Bradford South Police’s Horse Watch Liaison Officer, said: “Please think about horse riders on the road and give them the consideration they deserve.”
Anyone who knows the driver should contact Bradford South Police on 101, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.