The British Horse Society’s (BHS) annual Sefton Awards celebrated five individuals who have recently made significant contributions to equestrian safety.
This year's winners
Tim works continuously to raise standards, improve safety, build relationships and encourage grass roots activity in Kent and beyond. Through his work and effect on people, he has saved lives and caused positive change in his local area.
Passionate about equine safety on the roads, Elinor was the instigator and driving force behind research into the effect of electric cars on equines ridden on the roads.
As an EV advocate and horse owner, she was keen to see what could be done to prevent incidents as the sales of quieter low emission vehicles are rising exponentially - that is when she reached out to the BHS as she was aware of their Dead Slow Campaign. Elinor turned words into action, approached BHS Scotland and was responsible for the project with Robert Gordon’s University getting off the ground.
Ian saw a significant problem with road safety in and around Lincolnshire villages - particularly in relation to horse riding. Around two years ago, he started a campaign to address the issues relating to this - initially focussed on the main road passing through his own village of South Reston.
The local and county councils and the police, have now acknowledged there are speeding compliance issues on this particular route. Ian, together with a group of villagers, have also volunteered and been trained to carry out community speed checks. Not only is this benefitting the horse riding community but other road users and the residents of the South Reston.
Trisha was involved in a tragic accident on a road in 2020 where her horse, Jazzy, was killed. Trisha also received serious injuries.
Trisha was determined that some good should come from this awful incident and asked if there was anything she could do to help the BHS Dead Slow campaign. Trisha was part of the launch of the Dead Slow signs alongside Hampshire Police where the accident happened in Hawkley - and Hampshire CC have since agreed to place more signs.
Despite the memories of Trisha's accident still affecting her confidence, Trisha has very bravely put herself forward to highlight the safety issues facing equestrians on the roads.
Since the start of the pandemic, Jodie has worked diligently on an awareness campaign to help raise awareness among road users, specifically focusing on horse riders and how other road users should behave around them. A passionate horse rider, she has experienced all the problems on the roads first hand and wanted to change public perception.
The campaign created with her partner, a digital designer, was picked up by various media outlets. The BHS got in touch and asked if some of the designs could be BHS branded so they could use and share the work through social media and other channels.
The resulting two-to-three month campaign resonated with lots of people nationwide, with one poster shared around 50,000 times on Facebook and was adapted so it could be used for US audiences.
Following on from this, Jodie has been in constant contact with the BHS. This has all culminated in her getting offered and accepting the position of road safety officer in the Southwest of England (Dorset).
Kirsteen Watson retired from Police Scotland Mounted Branch on 4 July. She has been the chief instructor at the Mounted Branch in Scotland and has been the Mounted Branch lead for Operation ‘Lose the Blinkers’.
Since 2010 and before the launch of Operation ‘Lose the Blinkers’, according to BHS figures, two riders had been killed, 50 injured, 43 horses injured and 10 horses killed on Scotland’s roads. With such figures, BHS Scotland held discussions with Police Scotland during 2017 to look at ways to address this in association with the BHS Dead Slow campaign.
Operation ‘Lose the Blinkers’ was launched in October 2017. Glasgow City Council funded a poster and leaflets highlighting the issue.
This operation relies strongly on the horse incidents reported to the British Horse Society through the new 'Horse i' app.
BHS members are able to submit requests for action days for this operation allowing members and approved centres to take ownership of the campaign. There have been 40 action days with 460 drivers stopped and educated since this campaign started.
Operation Lose the Blinkers was relaunched (5 years since it started) on the 7 June at Morris EC with over 150 people attending and Kirsteen took the lead on the Mounted Branch Display on the evening.
Kirsteen has been heavily involved with BHS activity encouraging her colleagues to attend BHS events and CPD opportunities, opened up opportunities for BHS members at the mounted branch and held numerous displays for members.
Kirsteen has also been involved with the Mounted Branch with the Scottish Partnership Against Rural Crime, where the BHS is the equestrian lead and was heavily involved with the Royal Visit for the opening of the BHS Hub in Stirling.