Riding community pulls together with a plea for improved road safety

RIDERS Gretl Davies on Zak a 23 year old Latvian warm blood, Grace Diamond, 15, on Hot Chocolate Chewy a 14 year old Irish cob and Karen Diamond, 48, on Monster Munch a 22 year old Irish cob.    Picture: Sarah Standing (110557-6619)
RIDERS Gretl Davies on Zak a 23 year old Latvian warm blood, Grace Diamond, 15, on Hot Chocolate Chewy a 14 year old Irish cob and Karen Diamond, 48, on Monster Munch a 22 year old Irish cob. Picture: Sarah Standing (110557-6619)
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FRIENDS of a woman killed when she was thrown from her horse have launched a campaign urging people to be more aware of horses and ponies on the roads.

Lindy Harding, 59, died when her pony Flumpy collided with a car after bolting from a bridlepath on to Fleet End Road in Warsash last week.

Although there is no suggestion in this case that the driver was at fault, Lindy’s friends, all members of the local horse-riding community, are hoping the tragic accident will spur greater awareness of horses and ponies on the road.

Karen Diamond, 48, from Titchfield, said: ‘We’re not blaming the driver of the car at all for what happened to Lindy, and sadly accidents do happen, but we want to spread the issue of horse rider safety whilst it is fresh in people’s minds.

‘We want a campaign called Think Pony Power, much like how drivers now think more about bikes and motorbikes on the road – they need to “think pony”.

‘High-visibility wear is a must for riders and we must make sure we all carry identification in case the worst does happen.’

‘Lindy had been riding for 54 years and she was very safety conscious.

‘Do we have to wait for someone else to die?

‘It’s as simple as that, and whether it’s in Hampshire or in Scotland, this is a nationwide issue.’

The campaigners say they would like to see more triangle warning road signs put up in areas with a high concentration of equestrian activity.

And they are also calling for better access to off-road riding areas and bridlepaths.

In the local area they want speed limits reduced on Fleet End Road, Hook Lane in Warsash and Posbrook Lane in Titchfield. Gretl Davies, 61, of Warsash said: ‘Every road user should have equal rights to use the road, but they also have equal responsibility to themselves and other road users and we all need to pull together.

‘Most drivers are courteous, and we make sure we’re polite to everyone who’s polite to us on the roads, but it only takes one who isn’t to spook a horse and cause an accident.’

No-one was arrested in connection with the incident involving Lindy Harding. But police are continuing their appeal for witnesses to the incident which happened at the junction of Fleet End Road and Dibles Road at about 4.15pm on February 8.

Anyone with information should contact PC James Chapman of Fratton roads policing unit on 101, quoting Operation Celesta.