Blackhall horse riders set for trip to raise awareness among road users
Horse riders in the Hartlepool area will set off on a ride to raise awareness on how to safely pass a horse on the roads.
Eight horse riders, one horse and a cart, two cyclists and some dog walkers will be trying to increase awareness among other road users when they set off from Hurlevent Livery, in Blackhall Colliery, at around 11am on Sunday, September 19.
The group will pass along the coast road from Crimdon towards Blackhall before turning up into Mickle Hill Road and heading back towards Hurlevent Livery via Fillpoke Lane.
It is part of more than 180 other rides taking place across the country on Sunday, September 19, to mark National Pass Wide and Slow day.
The event is trying to increase awareness for car drivers how to safely pass horse riders by slowing down the speed of their vehicle to 15 miles per hour and giving them two metres space.
Denise Richardson, 56, who is organising the local ride, hopes the event will also make the council aware of the large equestrian community in the area.
She said: "Every time we ride out, we have cars passing us too fast, we have cars passing us too close, we have some cars that stop and tell us we aren’t supposed to be riding the roads or tell us to get off the roads, shout at us. We get abuse.
"This ride is really to highlight that and to highlight to drivers that we are allowed to ride on the road, that the Highway Code does state that we can ride on the road.
The nurse, who is from Blackhall and who took up horse riding again 15 years ago after a 20 year gap, continued: "We have two roads that we need to ride to get to any off-road hacking: the coast road, which is a 40 mile an hour road and Fillpoke Lane, which is a 60 mile an hour road.
"We don’t even have anything on the roads to help us to make drivers aware that there are horses on our roads.”
Between February 2019 and February 2020, 1,037 incidents were reported to the British Horse Society, with “close to two horses” killed on UK roads each week during that period.