Support road.cc

Like this site? Help us to make it better.

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.

Add new comment

167 comments

Avatar
Canyon48 | 5 years ago
2 likes

I think the Road.cc forums need a naughty step.

Avatar
davel | 5 years ago
2 likes

Double standards on a cycling Website. Oh the humanity! 

As penance, I promise to post skeptical missives about cyclists that derail into discussing shit on such sites as Pistonheads and the horsey one with this pic. 

 

Avatar
davel | 5 years ago
2 likes

Double standards is a bit of a push anyway. The ones who've mainly gone 'hmmmm' over this are the usual cynical twats, myself included. Some have other issues with horses, like their lack of predictability.

My issue with this story is its flimsiness. My main issue with horses (horsists, really) is the shit - I know, I know: I haven't really mentioned it. But I'd only be exhibiting double standards there if my bike grew a massive arse and started dumping regularly on the street.

Avatar
BehindTheBikesheds | 5 years ago
1 like

oh and the calling out to horse riders, I don't agree, just why? Why increase the chances of a reaction, horses have sensitive hearing, however they are poor at locating. Adding in the mix of higher pitched, louder and frequent noises simply is not what you want to do to a horse, it's a flight animal no need to complicate matters by making unecessary noises that can confuse/spook.

A bell/horn/shouting/calling out is the worst thing you can do, there's no need to cough, talk at x level, nothing.

Slow down, give yourself time to make a full assessment of the situation instead of guessing/making a too quick judgement. Is it safe for them to continue on their line, will they have to deviate, do you have a clear line to ride wide right to the other side of the road (why wouldn't you when you expect a motor to do the same) if it's not a good situation to pass, stop/slow to theor pace and stay a distance behind and wait until it is clear to proceed.

It doesn't have to be any more complicated than that, itt's basic hazard perception, have passed horses probably over a thousand times over the years I've never once called out in advance, rarely exchange pleasantries when alongside and never ever had an issue, either for the horses, equestrians or myself.

I'll stick to a tried and very long tested method of what I know is safe for everyone.

 

 

Avatar
Mungecrundle | 5 years ago
1 like

http://www.bhs.org.uk/our-charity/press-centre/news/regional/east-midlan...

From the horse's mouth as it were.

The people on the horses do apparently appreciate a call out when being approached from behind.

Maybe it's like the courtesy beep debate?

Avatar
Canyon48 | 5 years ago
2 likes

Road.cc definitely needs a naughty step.

Or a dark room where people can go to calm down a bit.

Avatar
Jimmy Ray Will | 5 years ago
0 likes

Wow, thats a lot of comments.

personally I sit on the side of sceptism here. and here is why... undertaking a horse is a stupidly dangerous thing to do. You would have to be mentally derranged to think that the undertake is the best option.

And for me that is why spectism should be shown. Yes some cyclists do some really stupid shit, but this is beyond stupid. In a racing scenario, I can almost see how it could happen (windsor tri)... in the zone, thinking you have right of way blah blah blah. Its still stupid, but I can see why it might happen. 

However, just riding along in the late evening... I just don't see it.

So for me, either;

- we are talking about an absolute idiot of a rider of exceptional stupidity

- as mentioned, there was a pavement, and the cyclist was on the pavement, which was the reason for the 'undertake'. Still stupid riding, but you can maybe understand it more

- the cyclist was traveling at speed, came up on the horse too fast to take evasive action and went down the inside. You could argue the late evening timeframes may have played a factor in this

- The horse rider may have adjusted their story - for instance, in reality the cyclist overtook, not undertook - to remove any questioning of their, or their horses conduct... who's going to question blame when the cyclist undertook? 

My point here is that we have one side of a story here, with no witnesses to support it, so we should be wary of grabbing the pitch forks just yet! Best thing is to emphasise what is best practice and try and spread a message of shared responsibility on the roads. 

On that note...

I'd argue that speaking out when approaching a horse is exactly the thing to do. Horse fear bikes as they don't understand them. Like car drivers, they have little training on what to do around bikes, so are fearful and confused. By speaking, not shouting, you will reassure the horse that you are indeed human. Its a good starting point.

Secondly. when approaching horses from behind, monitor the horses ears and head. Their hearing is far better than ours, so they'll often be aware of you from a way out. They'll drop one of their ears back to get a better listen of whats coming. Importantly, which ear they drop will likely be the eye they'll subsequently use to look behind them. This is important as if its the near eye (left), it is far more likely that the horse will turn their back end out towards you as you pass. If they are looking at you with their left eye, its best to sit back and wait until you are cofident the horse and rider are in control, and pass slowly. 

But... lets share the roads hey? I can't stand all this crap about who should and shouldn't be on the roads. There are laws in place that dictate this, which should be respected. 

Avatar
vonhelmet | 5 years ago
0 likes

Ok, so apparently now if you say you don’t believe there was an undertaking cyclist it doesn’t mean that you don’t believe someone who says there was.

Erm.

Avatar
hawkinspeter | 5 years ago
3 likes

Okay, I'm officially declaring this thread a complete wreck and the only thing left to do is spam it with irreverent pics.

 

Avatar
hawkinspeter | 5 years ago
2 likes

.

Avatar
hawkinspeter | 5 years ago
2 likes

_

Avatar
vonhelmet | 5 years ago
0 likes

How about the post a page ago where someone said the rider was lying to the police because of concerns about insurance? That was a good one.

Avatar
Hirsute | 5 years ago
1 like

I'm so glad I was on hols when this train wreck started.

 

For the record, I don't think 'Karen' is telling the whole truth.

Avatar
davel | 5 years ago
1 like

I don't see what there is left to pursue here. Some posters take accounts at face value, and good for them. I'd hate for the world to be full of cynical arses like me.

Apropos of nothing, I am currently sitting on a Thai beach with 'Karen', and we now have a list of posters to sell our next bridge to.

Cheers!

Avatar
FluffyKittenofT... | 5 years ago
2 likes

The thing is - what does it matter whether she is telling the truth or not?

If there is a cyclist and they are found, then they can argue the point and their guilt or innocence can be determined the same way as any other incident.  If they aren't found, then nothing happens.

 

Getting fussed about it and suggesting it's all faked, is implicitly buying into that stupid collective responsibility idea.  As if, if it _were_ someone on a bike, that would somehow reflect on everyone else who uses a bike.

 

  Even if this was a fake story (which seems unlikely to me) one day some scrote with a bike will do it for real, and there's nothing any other cyclist can do to stop it.  The ony thing one can do is be clear about how idiotic the collective responsibility idea is.

Avatar
hawkinspeter | 5 years ago
0 likes
Avatar
Recumbenteer | 5 years ago
0 likes

Recumbents scare horses terribly! Never had a problem with horses while riding on a safety bicycle of any kind.

Avatar
atgni replied to davel | 5 years ago
2 likes
davel wrote:

Double standards on a cycling Website. Oh the humanity! 

As penance, I promise to post skeptical missives about cyclists that derail into discussing shit on such sites as Pistonheads and the horsey one with this pic. 

 

There's a reality TV show in there.
The Great British Shit Off?

Avatar
FluffyKittenofT... replied to Jimmy Ray Will | 5 years ago
1 like
Jimmy Ray Will wrote:

And for me that is why spectism should be shown. Yes some cyclists do some really stupid shit, but this is beyond stupid. In a racing scenario, I can almost see how it could happen (windsor tri)... in the zone, thinking you have right of way blah blah blah. Its still stupid, but I can see why it might happen.

 

Doesn't seem that hard to believe, to me.  True, I harbor the illusion that everyone behaves more politely in the countryside (e.g. when I've been out there I've had other cyclists who I don't even know, say 'good afternoon' to me,...and they didn't even follow it up by asking for money or offering to sell me drugs!).  So to that extent I'm disappointed.

But people on bikes are just people, not members of a disciplined organisation with rules and doctrine, and poeple do stupid things.  It's how they roll.

 

 

Edit - gosh, that linked horse-and-hound publication doesn't half have a lot of reports of horrible horsey-related accidents.  They don't seem to do a 'close pass of the day' series though.

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

Okay, I'm officially declaring this thread a complete wreck and the only thing left to do is spam it with irreverent pics.

 

I'm sorry to say, but if squirrels shit, I think they're barred from the thread.

 

Avatar
Pushing50 replied to vonhelmet | 5 years ago
2 likes
vonhelmet wrote:

Ok, so apparently now if you say you don’t believe there was an undertaking cyclist it doesn’t mean that you don’t believe someone who says there was.

Erm.

Jesus!!! Scepticism - 

noun

a sceptical attitude; doubt as to the truth of something.
"these claims were treated with scepticism"

synonyms: doubt, doubtfulness, dubiousness, a pinch of salt, lack of conviction.

Also see my response to hawkinspeter where I state that it may well have happened. Do you live in the same universe as Mungecrundle where you cannot interpret others comments?

Erm.

Avatar
BehindTheBikesheds replied to Mungecrundle | 5 years ago
0 likes
Mungecrundle wrote:

http://www.bhs.org.uk/our-charity/press-centre/news/regional/east-midlan... From the horse's mouth as it were. The people on the horses do apparently appreciate a call out when being approached from behind. Maybe it's like the courtesy beep debate?

I base my way of dealing with these things on how horses react to sound and movement not the riders and speaking to my partner who has ridden horses for nearly 40 years. Making noises for the benefit of the rider (surely they are making regular over the shoulder checks in any case) ignores that actually it's the horse that is the primary hazard that can cause harm.

Walk past some horses next to a fence in a field, do you start talking/making noises on approach to it, no, why because you're more likely to startle it, this is a simple fact.

Horses that are safe to use on the highway should not and in my long experience have never reacted, badly to not saying anything when coming from behind or toward. A horse that reacts badly to being passed slowly and wide (with you not saying anything) should not be hacked on the highway, it's too dangerous to the horse rider and others. As I've said, my partner took her own horse off the road because of his inability to stay calm when something like a crisp packet/plastic bag would be blown across his path or rustled when stuck in a bush.

Avatar
Pushing50 replied to vonhelmet | 5 years ago
1 like
vonhelmet wrote:

How about the post a page ago where someone said the rider was lying to the police because of concerns about insurance? That was a good one.

JESUS!!!!! Read the post again!!!!! Who said she was lying to the police!!! I am not even going to explain. Good luck with your interpretation of that post.

Avatar
davel replied to FluffyKittenofTindalos | 5 years ago
0 likes
FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:

The thing is - what does it matter whether she is telling the truth or not?

People expressed skepticism and were then villified. That's why it matters. If they weren't villified it wouldn't matter for shit.

I don't think it ties into collective responsibility. People aren't saying there wasn't a cyclist in case there being a cyclist makes us all look bad. There might be some sort of pushback in proportion to perceived danger posed. But mostly I think it's about whether Karen's account is taken at face value or not.

Incidentally, when I saw you appear, I thought the whataboutery was going to be called out, as is your wont. I know I'm guilty - but nobody's pulled me up for it yet - of wanting to talk about the amount of shit that horses dump on roads rather than whether a lady's punctured lung was partially caused by a cyclist dick move. 

 

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

Okay, I'm officially declaring this thread a complete wreck and the only thing left to do is spam it with irreverent pics.

I'm sorry to say, but if squirrels shit, I think they're barred from the thread.

I came up with an extremely eloquent riposte to your comment, but there is not enough space to include it here.

 

Avatar
davel replied to FluffyKittenofTindalos | 5 years ago
0 likes
FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:

countryside

Winwick has its fair share of slack-jaws and inbreds, but dispel any notion of rural idyll. Newton Rd is the A49 north of Warrington.

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

http://www.bhs.org.uk/our-charity/press-centre/news/regional/east-midlan... From the horse's mouth as it were. The people on the horses do apparently appreciate a call out when being approached from behind. Maybe it's like the courtesy beep debate?

I base my way of dealing with these things on how horses react to sound and movement not the riders and speaking to my partner who has ridden horses for nearly 40 years. Making noises for the benefit of the rider (surely they are making regular over the shoulder checks in any case) ignores that actually it's the horse that is the primary hazard that can cause harm.

Walk past some horses next to a fence in a field, do you start talking/making noises on approach to it, no, why because you're more likely to startle it, this is a simple fact.

Horses that are safe to use on the highway should not and in my long experience have never reacted, badly to not saying anything when coming from behind or toward. A horse that reacts badly to being passed slowly and wide (with you not saying anything) should not be hacked on the highway, it's too dangerous to the horse rider and others. As I've said, my partner took her own horse off the road because of his inability to stay calm when something like a crisp packet/plastic bag would be blown across his path or rustled when stuck in a bush.

I think we're giving horses far too little credit. How do they cope out in the field with all those random noises around them? Perhaps this explains the proliferation of horseshit.

Avatar
vonhelmet replied to Pushing50 | 5 years ago
0 likes
Pushing50 wrote:
vonhelmet wrote:

How about the post a page ago where someone said the rider was lying to the police because of concerns about insurance? That was a good one.

JESUS!!!!! Read the post again!!!!! Who said she was lying to the police!!! I am not even going to explain. Good luck with your interpretation of that post.

Who said she was lying to the police? Maybe the person who suggested that the cyclist didn’t exist and that the horse rider made it up to avoid liability on her horse hitting the car or whatever.

I mean, how can you think that wouldn’t constitute lying in that strange little fantasy? It’s literally exactly what was being suggested.

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

Okay, I'm officially declaring this thread a complete wreck and the only thing left to do is spam it with irreverent pics.

I'm sorry to say, but if squirrels shit, I think they're barred from the thread.

I came up with an extremely eloquent riposte to your comment, but there is not enough space to include it here.

 

I fear that eloquence would most likely be lost on me.

Avatar
Pushing50 replied to vonhelmet | 5 years ago
1 like
vonhelmet wrote:
Pushing50 wrote:
vonhelmet wrote:

How about the post a page ago where someone said the rider was lying to the police because of concerns about insurance? That was a good one.

JESUS!!!!! Read the post again!!!!! Who said she was lying to the police!!! I am not even going to explain. Good luck with your interpretation of that post.

Who said she was lying to the police? Maybe the person who suggested that the cyclist didn’t exist and that the horse rider made it up to avoid liability on her horse hitting the car or whatever.

I mean, how can you think that wouldn’t constitute lying in that strange little fantasy? It’s literally exactly what was being suggested.

FYI here is the original paragraph written by myself. Please note the very first sentence and especially the words that are bracketed. 

Maybe (and this is purely a personal theory - no evidence so cannot be seen as my belief or the TRUTH) she caused a lot of damage to the parked car with her horse, knew the owner of the parked car, is liable for causing the damage running to the costs of thousands and is not insured for third party liability. She remembers a recent story of those pesky cyclists undertaking a horse, so to relieve her and her horse of full responsibilty she says that the horse was spooked by an undertaking cyclist. 

I would suggest that before you start recalling other posters comments, you get them in the correct context. I have nothing more to say to you as you obviously cannot get a grip with the English language.

Pages

Latest Comments