Rider’s shock after horse is hit

A CLEVEDON rider has spoken of her shock after her horse was hit by a car wing mirror and the driver failed to stop.

Debbie McHugh was walking 12-year-old Ellie along the edge of Tickenham Road when she heard a loud bang, Ellie bolted forward and a car wing mirror smashed on the floor.

The 45-year-old had been on a ride along the bridle path at Cadbury Camp, which ends in Tickenham, and was walking Ellie back to her stableyard on the outskirts of Clevedon when the incident happened.

Debbie, who has been riding since she was a young girl, said: “Ellie jumped and heard a loud bang.

“A wing mirror flew off but the car just drove off.

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“Luckily, Ellie seems to be absolutely fine and I couldn’t see any injuries on her.

“What if it had been a child walking along?

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“I am very grateful to the man and a woman who both stopped to check we were ok.”

A witness wrote down a number plate for the vehicle involved, which was light green and similar to a Ford Focus, however, police have been unable to match the number with any on their records.

Debbie has for many years suffered difficulties with some drivers while riding on the roads in and around Clevedon.

The Freshmoor resident said: “I have had problems in the past. People shouting at me. People driving dangerously.

“I tried to get off the roads by going to Cadbury Camp but walking along that road is the only way to get to the bridle path.”

The incident, which happened at 11.45am on June 19, has been reported to Avon and Somerset police.

A force spokesman said: “Police would advise motorists to pass horses wide and slow.”

In October, Clevedon riders formed their own campaign group, called Riders’ Rights and Safety Association, in the hope of lobbying for more paths to be created for them to use, allowing them to get off the busy roads in and around the town. However, they are yet to succeed in their efforts.

Campaign member Sally Gardner said: “We are still trying but we are up against it.

“There are miles of publicly-owned land around here and we should be entitled to part of it.

“Surely we have got as much right to be safe, even though we are on horse back?”

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