Drivers are being urged to “rein it in” after worrying figures show traffic accidents involving horses in Lancashire have almost doubled in a year.
The county has the worst figures in the whole of the North West in the 12 months up to the end of February, with 35 incidents reported compared to 20 the year before.
Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Cheshire all recorded fewer, according to the British Horse Society.
And with the North West considered one of the nation’s blackspots for horse accidents, the figures for Lancashire are bound to be of concern to owners and riders.
“It’s definitely getting more dangerous to be out on the roads on a horse,” said Jennifer Gannon, who works at the Chorley Equestrian Centre in Chapel Lane.
“Some drivers don’t seem to care. Either that or they just think it’s funny to scare horses and their riders.
“We’ve had some pretty frightening near-misses down the lanes around here caused by drivers who don’t slow down.
“We have tractors pulling trailers whizzing past at speed. We’ve also had a few horses that have run off down the road and have had to be chased.”
The statistics show that 73 per cent of the incidents were caused by drivers passing too closely to a horse. More than 30 per cent occurred because a vehicle passed by too quickly and 32 per cent of riders admitted they had been victims of road rage. In the past 12 months, there have been 35 incidents in Lancashire.
Kevin Wareing, owner of Paul’s Farm Stables in Leyland said: “There are people who drive a bit recklessly, but none more than we’ve had in the past.
“Let’s face it there are a lot more cars on the roads these days. It can get a bit unsettling when you’re on a horse, but most people tend to keep to quiet roads.”
which are quiet.”