It’s never been more vital for equestrians to report incidents they encounter on the roads – two horses have already been tragically killed on Britain's road this year. This follows the 68 equine deaths logged via the BHS’s Horse i app in 2022, with an additional 125 being injured and 139 human injuries. Since the launch of our Horse i app, the BHS have received a 201% increase in incident reporting since 2020, highlighting just how common it is for riders and carriage drivers to experience issues on the road.
BHS Volunteer Safety Adviser Ella Scott is one of many riders who raised concerns over the behaviour of drivers in her local area. Towards the end of 2020, Ella was experiencing a high volume of traffic on a stretch of road she hacked on, just outside of Swindon, she said: “Drivers just weren’t thinking to put their brakes on and would come whooshing past at 50mph. At one point we were run off the road by a van; it was frightening.”
While loaning her Shetland pony out to a five-year-old girl, Ella was too scared to let her hack out prompting her to get help. She said: “After contacting various organisations, Alan Hiscox BHS Director of Safety, was the only one who got back to me.”
“Alan helped me massively with getting the council on board – having the BHS stand behind me and confirm there’s an issue with this road was a huge help in pushing my concerns forward. I don’t think anyone quite realised just how dangerous this road was! We agreed to put a sign up highlighting the speed that drivers should use when passing horses, which led to drivers being more considerate.”
After working closely with us Ella became a BHS volunteer, she said: “When Alan asked if I was interested in volunteering, I was really excited! I started looking at everything from a whole new perspective, as I realised it wasn’t just me experiencing these issues on the roads.”
Ella is urging the younger generation to get involved with volunteering, she added: “We’re the ones who stand to benefit most from the work that we’re doing, and horses are going to continue to need us way into the future.”
The Horse i app has been specifically designed to be easy to use and empowers equestrians to immediately report any incidents directly to the BHS. The app is free to use and records details of the incident, including location, date and time, injuries sustained, vet treatments required and if the police are involved. Incident reports can be submitted in less than three minutes with the option for users to take time to add in extra detail if they wish.
Ella’s full story is available to read in the 2022 Autumn edition of British Horse, exclusive to our members. If you’re not already a member, why not join us today and help us continue to make roads safer for horses.