A horse rider has posted video to Facebook of competitors on the cycling leg of today’s Windsor Triathlon passing her at speed, one of them striking her and the horse as he passed them on the inside, causing the animal to rear up and leaving the woman with a bruised ankle.
Organisers of the event in Berkshire, Human Race, have launched an investigation and have promised to ban any riders they identify in the footage from future events.
Shot on a helmet camera , the footage was originally posted this morning by Facebook user Jennifer Katherine, who wrote: “No warning to local residents, signs, etc ...
“Went out at 7:30am to our other farm down the road and came back on same road 9am. I have lived here all my life and never had a problem with cyclists – as with my horse, who is bombproof on the road.
“I am wearing a yellow hi-vis hat silk, coat, gloves and gilet. My horse is wearing a yellow hi-vis rug and breastplate. The cyclist smashes along the side of my horse, taking my stirrup in the handlebars and bruising up my ankle. My horse rears and bolts forward, taking off one of his back shoes.
“Not a lot I can do I think but what should I do? I had no knowledge of the event and repeatedly had near misses where cyclists failed to slow down and put themselves, me, my horse and drivers at risk.
“No-one stopped to see if I or the horse was ok after this hit. I'm still in shock and feeling very sore along one side of my ankle,” she added.
The event was today’s Windsor Triathlon, organised by Human Race, who said in messages posted to social media: “We are currently investigating an incident at the Windsor Triathlon involving a group of cyclists and a horse rider.
“We are taking this very seriously. Riders will be identified and disqualified from this event, and banned from all future Human Race Events.
“All riders are briefed to follow the Highway Code, and we do not condone dangerous cycling of any kind. We offer our sincere apologies to the individual involved.”
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.”
The behaviour of the cyclists has been condemned by commenters on the original Facebook thread, many of them horse riders who have highlighted their own experiences of some people riding bicycles far too close to them.
Other cyclists too have been strongly critical of the riders with one urging Human Race on Twitter to also report the incident to the British Triathlon Federation (BTF), saying: “Those cyclists should not be racing as dangerous to all on the roads.”
Human Race replied: “BTF are on site with us, and have provided all of our race referees. They are aware of the situation and will also be taking action.”
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.