A horse rider road safety campaign led by The British Horse Society (BHS) is being supported by North Yorkshire Police at the Great Yorkshire Show.

North Yorkshire Police support charity to prevent horse rider road deathsThe joint initiative follows the launch of the BHS’s Dead Slow campaign, a response to the alarming number of horse incidents seen by the BHS.

In the five years since it launched its horse accidents website, there have been more than 2,000 reports of road incidents involving horses across the UK. Of these, 36 caused the death of the rider, and 181 resulted in the horses dying from their injuries or being put to sleep.

The Dead Slow campaign urges drivers to slow down to 15mph when they meet a horse and rider on the road. To help drivers the BHS has produced a video demonstrating how to safely pass a horse on the road.

North Yorkshire Police are backing the Dead Slow campaign at this year’s Great Yorkshire Show. The force will display Dead Slow banners and be talking to members of the public about the campaign and answering any questions.

Amy Clements, Regional Manager for the BHS, said: “All too often road incidents can cause life changing injuries or unnecessary deaths. This has got to stop. With North Yorkshire Police’s support we aim to make the roads safer for horses and riders in the region.”

PC Hannah McPeake, of North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce, said: “One of the biggest issues within the North Yorkshire equestrian community is concern about how vehicles drive past them when they are riding on the roads.

“As well as collisions which can result in serious injuries, there are also a lot of near-misses which leave both horse and rider shaken and terrified to ride on the roads again.

“This need to stop – horses and riders should be able to ride on North Yorkshire’s roads and feel safe. We are looking forward to working with the British Horse Society to help promote road safety and educate road users on how to pass horses safely.”

GYS (c) The British Horse Society

North Yorkshire Police are the second force to back the campaign – Greater Manchester police joined the campaign after one of their officers, PC Wendy Townley and her horse Steele were seriously injured whilst on patrol.

Horse accidents can be reported to the BHS via the website: www.horseaccidents.org.uk

North Yorkshire Police’s Horse Watch scheme was relaunched in May 2016 by the force’s new Rural Taskforce. As well as backing the Dead Slow campaign, the scheme uses sophisticated property marking technology to protect tack from criminals. To find out more, follow @NYP_Horsewatch on Twitter, or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/nyphorsewatch