Horse riders raise awareness for road safety in Curridge
Horse riders plan to raise awareness for important changes to the Highway Code.
This Sunday at 10am, 15 people will ride from Crown Water Coffee car park along the B4009 and Long Lane towards Curridge, turn into Curridge Road, before returning to their start point.
They are raising awareness for a national campaign called Pass wide & slow, designed to inform road users of recent changes to the Highway Code.
The British Horse Society recorded 2,943 horse-related road incidents in 2021.
One-hundred-and-twenty-nine horses were injured by abusive or careless road users and, in the most serious cases, 66 horses were killed.
The code, updated in January, stipulates that drivers must pass horse riders and carriage riders at a speed below 10 miles per hour and allow at least two metres distance when passing.
Tash Callaway, one of the organisers, is keen to join the ride for a second time.
She said: "It was started by a lady called Debbie Smith back in 2016. I did my first ride last year. It's grown from 178 nationwide events in 2021, to well over 200 this year.
"We've got the support of a couple PCSOs, Sue Nicks and Georgia Dimes. We've got the support of Berkshire Farm Girl, she'll be leading the ride out.
"We wanted the support of an escort and we've got marshals en route just to make oncoming drivers aware that we will be on the road, but we're not there to cause any disruption at all. It's just to make people aware we share the road with them. If people want to stop us and ask questions, they can do, or they can join us afterwards and have a chat with us."
She added: "If we could just stick to byways and bridleways, we would, but unfortunately, some of these have diminished and sometimes we have to use part of a road to get to them.
"In the area we ride, there used to be a riding school, so a lot of local commuters would see riders daily. That closed during Covid, but obviously there's still a lot of people that own horses.
"Everybody's been really helpful and supportive. Lots of companies have got involved, from making and handing out rosettes to high vis gear. We're already organising next year."
A video promoting the national campaign is available to view at https://youtu.be/jwszw9OFKZ0
Riders of all ages are welcome to join. Other vulnerable road users including cyclists, can also attend to show their support.