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    Viewers distraught at bad drivers as horse is killed in shocking footage

    NewsGeneral Equestrian NewsTuesday 29 November 2016
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    Sunday's episode of Countryfile has left audiences speechless and distraught after shocking scenes of near-misses involving horses on the road, including one animal killed after an incident.

    Gillian Singleton, a horse rider who has been riding for more than 30 years was featured in the episode where she was knocked off her horse Digby by a car in Snowdonia National Park two months ago.

    Luckily she fell onto a grassy bank as Gillian's horse jumped up, the driver apologised for not seeing them due to harsh sunlight. Digby wasn't as lucky and died from his injuries a few minutes later. Gillian, distraught but thankful to her horse for saving her life.

    “I was so distraught, just overwhelmed by emotion. Even now I can feel it in my voice. So distressing. I’m too scared, too nervous, too anxious. I’m afraid of cars,” said Gillian

    Videocred: Express.co.uk / BBC Countryfile

    Viewers of the episode leapt on to social media to view their opinions.

    one viewer tweeted: “Heartbreaking. So many stupid inconsiderate drivers. #Countryfile.”

    A second said: “Tragic to hear Digby dies at roadside. Feel so sorry for owner. All drivers slow down for horses, pass wide & slow. Please! #Countryfile. Making me emotional with these horses.”
     
    “Never understand the vile mentality of car users who speed by horses and other animals poor Digby #Countryfile more needs to be done now,” posted a third.

    A fourth posted: “Why would people not slow down for horses, what the f**k is wrong with people? #CountryFile.”

    Although a fifth believed that horses should be banned on the roads, tweeting: “Digby on #Countryfile. Such a sad story....drive a lorry and got to say horses should not be on our roads in a modern world.”
     
    The British Horse Society reports at least 2,000 road incidents involving horses have happened in the last 5 years, 181 resulted in the death of a horse, and 36 caused the death of the rider.
     
     

    The campaign has had significant coverage in local and national media, and the Dead Slow message has primarily been aimed at drivers, but there are many things riders can do to reduce the risk of becoming another statistic.

    • Always wear hi-viz clothing and put hi-viz equipment on your horse – even on bright days, it is surprising how well a horse can be camouflaged against a hedge
    • Unless absolutely necessary, DO NOT ride in failing light, fog or darkness, or when it is snowing or icy
    • Always show courtesy to drivers – if you show drivers appreciation of their efforts, then drivers should return the favour
    • If you are riding a horse that is not used to roads, make sure you are accompanied by an experienced rider and horse
    • Concentrate all the time
    • Make sure you have told someone where you are going and what time you are expected back

    Information taken from the Dead Slow campaign on the British Horse Society website.

    Do you think horses still have a place on the roads?

     
     

     

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