Horse hit by car just days after road safety event in Wotton-under-Edge

A WOMAN and her horse have been hit by a car – just days after she organised a equine road safety campaign. 

Wendy Blennerhassett, 59, who keeps two horses at Manners Farm, Wotton-under-Edge says speeding has always been a problem along Wortley Road. 

Wendy’s horse Dennis was hit by a car yesterday morning at around 11am and the driver drove away without checking if the pair were injured. 

Almost 20 horse riders as well as cyclists and walkers took part in the walk though the streets of Wotton on Sunday (September 18) as part of a nationwide Pass Wide And Slow campaign.

The campaign aims to reduce the number of accidents by informing drivers of the danger frightened horses can pose to vehicles. 

“Even after a great safety awareness day my horse Dennis got hit,” said Wendy, who lives in Thornbury. 

“Thank god it’s nothing serious but we’re just both shaken up. 

“The car driver didn’t even stop to see if we were okay.

“Dennis is a rescue horse and it’s taken me two years to get him confident enough to go out without others.

Stroud News and Journal: Wendy and her horse DennisWendy and her horse Dennis

“Dennis is okay, the vet came down to check but he’s just shaken up.

“The speeding in Wortley makes me nervous and scared for others as we have young children that ride that road.

“They use it as a race track.”

The campaign on Sunday encourages and reminds drivers to stay at least three metres away when passing horses and to stay at 10mph. 

There were over 220 rides taking part across the country on the same day. 

The Wotton group made their way from Manners Farm to Long Street, the High Street, Bear Street and down to Old Town. 

Stroud News and Journal:

They then stopped at the war memorial to lay a floral tribute for the Queen. 

Wotton mayor Martin Tucker and deputy mayor Teresa Creese awarded riders with certificates and rosettes. 

As a tribute to the Queen the horses were wearing red, white and blue ribbons in their manes and tails and riders were wearing black armbands. 

Stroud News and Journal: Wotton horse riders taking part in Pass Wide And Slow campaign with Wotton mayor Martin Tucker deputy mayor Teresa CreeseWotton horse riders taking part in Pass Wide And Slow campaign with Wotton mayor Martin Tucker deputy mayor Teresa Creese

The event on Sunday raised over £200 for Great Western Air Ambulance through a raffle.

Wendy said she ‘definitely’ wants to do another equine safety ride despite yesterday’s incident. 

“We’ll definitely be doing another awareness ride,” she said. 

“I was thinking it was worth it after yesterday’s accident but I have so much support especially from the council, friends and family.”

Wendy has also been involved in many near-misses when negotiating roads around the Wotton area. 

There have been 15 near misses in the Wotton area since January and three horses have been hit including Dennis’s incident. 

The number of accidents involving horse-riders on roads in the UK has shot up by more than 80 per cent in recent years. 

In 2019/20, one person and 80 horses were killed.

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