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Woman suffers punctured lung and broken ribs as horse she was riding spooked by cyclist who undertook them without warning

Woman urges cyclists to learn how to share space safely with people on horseback after spending four days in hospital

A horse rider who was left with four broken ribs and a punctured lung when her horse was spooked by an undertaking cyclist says people on bikes need to be more aware of how to share the road safely with those on horseback.

The rider, whose name was given only as Karen, had almost returned to her yard after a ride on her horse Polly when the incident happened last Tuesday, the Horse & Hound reports. No details of the location were provided.

She said: “There was no traffic. I didn’t hear the cyclist and he didn’t shout to say he was passing – there were only inches between the edge of the road, him and me. 

“He came so close he was just about touching my stirrup. Polly got a fright and jumped off all four legs across the road.

“There was a lay-by across the road with a parked car and Polly went into the car and I came off. I remember not being able to breathe or speak.”

An occupant of one of two vehicles that stopped at the scene happened to be a nurse who works in A&E and called for an ambulance.

“I could see the cyclist stopped but he never came over and then he was gone,” Karen continued. “He left me.”

Her horse, a 15-year-old mare, was found at the stables.

After spending four days in hospital, Karen is now recovering at home.

She said: “I’m very sore even on painkillers. I left hospital on Saturday evening and still have a raspy voice from the chest drain they had to put in.

“It’s taking me a long time to get dressed and showered and I have my daughter staying with me for two weeks to help me,” she added.

The incident happened two months after a man taking part in the Windsor Triathlon, riding in the cycling leg of the event, undertook a horse rider at speed, making contact with her as he passed.

Several other people participating in the event also passed the horse and rider without slowing down, and subsequently organisers Human Race confirmed that one man had been banned from its events for life and another for 12 months.

> Police probing triathlon cyclist's undertake of horse rider

The episode was captured on the horse rider’s action camera and after road.cc’s initial coverage the story was picked up by the mainstream media.

The incident was also being investigated by Thames Valley Police, whom we have contacted for an update.

Rule 215 of the Highway Code, among other things, instructs road users to “Be particularly careful of horse riders and horse-drawn vehicles especially when overtaking,” and to “Always pass wide and slowly.”

More extensive guidance on how cyclists and horse riders can share the road safely has been issued by the British Horse Society (BHS) and is endorsed by British Cycling, and is covered in a road.cc article that can be found by following the link below.

> How to pass horse riders safely on your bike

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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167 comments

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don simon fbpe | 5 years ago
5 likes

I smell a rat here.I don't think that I believe there was an undertaking cyclist.

Second thing is that if a horse is so easily spooked, it shouldn't be out in public, especially on the public highway.

Avatar
KiwiMike replied to don simon fbpe | 5 years ago
14 likes
don simon wrote:

I smell a rat here.I don't think that I believe there was an undertaking cyclist.

Second thing is that if a horse is so easily spooked, it shouldn't be out in public, especially on the public highway.

 

Don, ***all*** horses are potentially spookable. Some freak out at puddles. I wouldn't want to be passed as a walker or cyclist at touching distance, at any speed, without warning. The fact it was a horse just meant the outcome was worse.

Sounds like this guy was a prize twat.

Avatar
don simon fbpe replied to KiwiMike | 5 years ago
3 likes
KiwiMike wrote:
don simon wrote:

I smell a rat here.I don't think that I believe there was an undertaking cyclist.

Second thing is that if a horse is so easily spooked, it shouldn't be out in public, especially on the public highway.

 

Don, ***all*** horses are potentially spookable. Some freak out at puddles. I wouldn't want to be passed as a walker or cyclist at touching distance, at any speed, without warning. The fact it was a horse just meant the outcome was worse.

Sounds like this guy was a prize twat.

"So easily spooked"

Again, if you know that a horse is spooked by puddles, is it twattish to suggest you don't take it out in the rain?

I hate it when those police horses freak out too. Bastards!

Avatar
Expatpat replied to don simon fbpe | 5 years ago
5 likes
don simon wrote:
KiwiMike wrote:
don simon wrote:

I smell a rat here.I don't think that I believe there was an undertaking cyclist.

Second thing is that if a horse is so easily spooked, it shouldn't be out in public, especially on the public highway.

 

Don, ***all*** horses are potentially spookable. Some freak out at puddles. I wouldn't want to be passed as a walker or cyclist at touching distance, at any speed, without warning. The fact it was a horse just meant the outcome was worse.

Sounds like this guy was a prize twat.

"So easily spooked"

Again, if you know that a horse is spooked by puddles, is it twattish to suggest you don't take it out in the rain?

I hate it when those police horses freak out too. Bastards!

 

If you can smell a rat its because your nose is too close to your own ass.

Don Simon's descent into oblivion should be complete following such cretinous comments.

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growingvegtables replied to don simon fbpe | 5 years ago
7 likes
don simon wrote:

... Second thing is that if a horse is so easily spooked, it shouldn't be out in public, especially on the public highway.

Stunning.  Just stunningly complacent and frighteningly ignorant.

Bottom line - horses ARE damned easily "spooked" ... especially by something fast, silent, often brightly coloured, and coming up beside them, by their shoulder.  Think sabre-tooth tigers on the steppes.

It's called evolution.  Thousands upon thousands of years of evolution.

Survival of the fittest, no less.  Cos the horses that didn't get spooked ... had that sabretooth tiger sink its teeth into their neck.  

Avatar
Mungecrundle replied to don simon fbpe | 5 years ago
19 likes
don simon wrote:

I smell a rat here.I don't think that I believe there was an undertaking cyclist.

Second thing is that if a horse is so easily spooked, it shouldn't be out in public, especially on the public highway.

For any horsists dropping by to see what the cycling community think about this story, please excuse our resident moron.

Avatar
don simon fbpe replied to Mungecrundle | 5 years ago
3 likes
Mungecrundle wrote:
don simon wrote:

I smell a rat here.I don't think that I believe there was an undertaking cyclist.

Second thing is that if a horse is so easily spooked, it shouldn't be out in public, especially on the public highway.

For any horsists dropping by to see what the cycling community think about this story, please excuse our resident moron.

Bit of a prick, aren't we? Our resident dildo has problems responding to arguments, being a thick twat, can only throw insults at others. This is how thick the cycling community is, some can read though, others can actually think too, but not at the same time.

Avatar
Mungecrundle replied to don simon fbpe | 5 years ago
5 likes
don simon wrote:
Mungecrundle wrote:
don simon wrote:

I smell a rat here.I don't think that I believe there was an undertaking cyclist.

Second thing is that if a horse is so easily spooked, it shouldn't be out in public, especially on the public highway.

For any horsists dropping by to see what the cycling community think about this story, please excuse our resident moron.

Bit of a prick, aren't we? Our resident dildo has problems responding to arguments, being a thick twat, can only throw insults at others. This is how thick the cycling community is, some can read though, others can actually think too, but not at the same time.

No argument necessary. You justify my previous comment most cogently.

Avatar
Pushing50 replied to Mungecrundle | 5 years ago
1 like
Mungecrundle wrote:
don simon wrote:

I smell a rat here.I don't think that I believe there was an undertaking cyclist.

Second thing is that if a horse is so easily spooked, it shouldn't be out in public, especially on the public highway.

For any horsists dropping by to see what the cycling community think about this story, please excuse our resident moron.

And don't think for one minute that you represent the cycling community any more than don simon. You come across as being rather sanctimonious.

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to don simon fbpe | 5 years ago
5 likes
don simon wrote:

I smell a rat here.I don't think that I believe there was an undertaking cyclist.

Second thing is that if a horse is so easily spooked, it shouldn't be out in public, especially on the public highway.

I don't see why a horse rider would blame a cyclist if there wasn't some kind of incident. As others have said, horses can be easily spooked, so why would she make something up if her horse got spooked for some other reason? Also, she says she has footage which is a strange thing to claim if events aren't quite as she has stated.

Personally, I think that horses have every right to use the public highway as they are the original form of transport (along with pedestrians), so restricting their rights is a step in the wrong direction (think U.S. jaywalking laws). In a lot of ways, horse rights are quite similar to cycling rights as both horses and cyclists need special consideration by motorists.

If events did happen as described, then the cyclist was lucky that he didn't get caught by the horse. It sounds like a really dumb thing to do, especially as horses are usually right by the kerb so there wouldn't be much of a gap. I'd certainly be spooked if a cyclist overtook me on the inside without warning.

Every time I've encountered horses on the road, I always take care to not overtake too quickly or too closely and I give the rider a nod, hello or maybe a smile depending on how busy the road is and it's never been anything but a pleasant interaction between fellow road users.

Avatar
kil0ran | 5 years ago
9 likes

Idiotic thing to do. Maybe I encounter them more frequently because of where I live but purely in the interests of self-preservation it's a good idea to give them a very wide berth.
We face the same issues on the road (see this article from H&H https://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/riders-must-change-behaviour-for-sa... for example) so we should all be looking out for each other.

Avatar
growingvegtables replied to kil0ran | 5 years ago
5 likes
kil0ran wrote:

Idiotic thing to do. Maybe I encounter them more frequently because of where I live but purely in the interests of self-preservation it's a good idea to give them a very wide berth. We face the same issues on the road (see this article from H&H https://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/riders-must-change-behaviour-for-sa... for example) so we should all be looking out for each other.

Spot on

Avatar
atlaz | 5 years ago
3 likes

Hang on. Road.cc covered it and brought it to the attention of the mainstream press who are no doubt going to use it as further evidence of how lawless cyclists are?

 

thanks. With friends like road.cc who needs enemies

Avatar
Canyon48 replied to atlaz | 5 years ago
13 likes
atlaz wrote:

Hang on. Road.cc covered it and brought it to the attention of the mainstream press who are no doubt going to use it as further evidence of how lawless cyclists are?

 

thanks. With friends like road.cc who needs enemies

Probably because road.cc is involved in reporting news involving cyclists. If it didn't publish the bad news then it would basically be propaganda...

 

In any event, I don't know why people struggle to overtake horses, literally all you need to do is say "hello" to the horse rider so that they know you are there before passing wide and slow.

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to atlaz | 5 years ago
13 likes
atlaz wrote:

Hang on. Road.cc covered it and brought it to the attention of the mainstream press who are no doubt going to use it as further evidence of how lawless cyclists are?

 

thanks. With friends like road.cc who needs enemies

You can't blame Road.cc for accurate reporting just because the mainstream press have an axe to grind.

If someone is behaving badly on the road, then there's a reason to report it, no matter if it's a lorry, car, cyclist or pedestrian (or even a horse).

Avatar
Simon_MacMichael replied to atlaz | 5 years ago
11 likes

atlaz wrote:

Hang on. Road.cc covered it and brought it to the attention of the mainstream press who are no doubt going to use it as further evidence of how lawless cyclists are?

 

thanks. With friends like road.cc who needs enemies

The video went viral on its own. We happened to be first to report the story, and we did so in a factual manner.

And as that original story made clear, the majority of comments from cyclists on social media criticised the guy on the bike for the manner in which he was riding. 

Avatar
fizrar6 replied to atlaz | 5 years ago
1 like
atlaz wrote:

Hang on. Road.cc covered it and brought it to the attention of the mainstream press who are no doubt going to use it as further evidence of how lawless cyclists are?

 

thanks. With friends like road.cc who needs enemies

What a really stupid thing to say. We're all road users and if there are some brainless cyclists out there who don't even know how to pass a horse we should be aware of it.

Try puting your brain into gear instead of your bike before writing any more witless comments.

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