Quainton riders launch awareness campaign to encourage drivers to pass horses 'wide and slow'

Dee and Arnie in their pass wide and slow gear
Dee and Arnie in their pass wide and slow gear

Dee Lockhart has organised a 'pass wide and slow' awareness campaign to help raiseunderstanding on polite road sharing for drivers when they pass horses.

The awareness campaign is part of a country wide set of horse riders taking place to promote safe and polite road sharing with horses, cars and cyclists.

Dee said: "The ride is starting from Quainton in Buckinghamshire and about 20 riders will be taking a leisurely ride through the countryside, stopping off for a drink at the village pub and back through the countryside to the starting point in Quainton."

The ride will start at Woodlands Farmhouse in Quainton at 2.30pm, this Sunday.

Dee added: "All riders have been instructed to wear Hi Viz and utilise the highway code and thank all cars and road users who pass us on the ride.

"The event is being supported by TVP Waddesdon, Hampden Equine Vets, The George and Dragon Pub and Doddershall estate."

A few years back Dee was involved in a serious traffic accident on her horse.

Four boys in a car sped past her and her horse, hooting the horn.

The horse bolted and she fell from her horse, and was lucky to escape without a broken back as she collided with a pole.

Despite a horrific wrist break, concussion and a cracked head Dee is now lucky to be riding again.

She said: "It was a bad accident, I'm very lucky it wasn't more serious. I'm hoping this demonstration can bring some attention to educating road users on how to drive when horses are on the road.

"Horses have a legal right to be on the road, we often use the road to get to bridleways where we can enjoy the countryside.

"I think the problem is education on how to behave around horses. They get easily frightened and the smallest things can set them off. We're just asking for a bit of consideration from road users so we can all enjoy the countryside.

Dee also said it's also sometimes difficult on bridleways which aren't properly maintained - which forces horses back on to the roads.

Other issues riders face are the passing of cyclists, the horse doesn't hear the bikes approach and they often whip past at speed which can frighten horses.

Last year a video went viral as a girl lost control of her horse, as a peloton of cyclists sped past a horse, with one cyclist flying past on the inside of the rider.

Instead of stopping to apologise or help, the cyclist appeared to have swore at the rider and continued on their way.

"Cyclists should try and give two meters room to horses when they pass, and should shout to alert the riders of their presence on the road.

"Another problem riders face is the start stop engines in modern cars. They politely stop and allow the horses to pass, but when the engine boots back into life this can be terrifying for horses.

"We just want to share the road with other users in a polite and considerate way."

Between 2010 and 2019, 315 horses have died in traffic related incidents, according to the British Horse Society. 43 humans have also died during this period.

There has been a petition created on change.uk which wants changes to the law to make it compulsory to pass horses on the road 'wide and slow'

It has already been signed by 140,000 people.

You can view the petition here: https://www.change.org/p/uk-govt-make-it-law-to-pass-by-a-horse-wide-and-slow-and-abide-by-our-hand-signals