‘Safety is riders’ responsibility’ says horse fair organiser

The scene at Monday's horse fair trot through South Hetton as one of the horses paniced and threw out the occupants of the trailer.
The scene at Monday's horse fair trot through South Hetton as one of the horses paniced and threw out the occupants of the trailer.

The organiser of a horse fair has said it is not his duty to ensure trap riders follow the rules of the road in the aftermath of a crash.

The event was held on the car boot field off the A182 South Hetton Road, on the outskirts of Easington Village, during the Bank Holiday, with Monday’s trot through the village to Haswell and back its finale.

These events happen all the time and it is down to the individual if there is a collision.

Paul Frain

During the ride, a horse bolted, leaving two cars damaged and the two trap riders with minor injuries.

Sergeant Paul Footes, of Easington Neighbourhood Policing Team, has made a call for the organiser to take responsibility around road safety said the future of the privately-run event would be reviewed by Durham Constabulary and Durham County Council.

Traffic management was put in place by the council.

But event host Paul Frain, who owns the field at Mount Pleasant Farm, said road safety is out of his hands and has suggested the main route through South Hetton is closed during the trot.

Further fairs are planned for July 11 and the August Bank Holiday.

Mr Frain said: “These events happen all the time and it is down to the individual if there is a collision.

“It’s the same as if someone comes out of the car boot field, if that person and their vehicle has a collision, that’s obviously not my fault.”

Sgt Footes said: “After the weekend, where vehicles have been damaged, there are going to be discussions around the future of this event.

“For me, this is about the community and the safety of the residents.”

South Hetton Parish Council will meet at the Robin Todd Centre from 7pm on Tuesday, with the fair on the agenda.