Dressage rider backs horse safety campaign

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Whitby dressage rider Cara Shardlow is backing North Yorkshire Police’s campaign to promote awareness of horse rider safety on the roads.

Last year, the force worked closely with the British Horse Society to make our roads a safer place – this is backed by Cara, who has had horses all her life.

“As part of my horse’s exercise programmes, I like to include some hacking,” she said. “Hacking is great for fitness and gives my horses time to relax from their busy schedules.

“I am lucky to live in an amazing part of North Yorkshire, however many of the roads around me are narrow country lanes.

“Most drivers are considerate and pass wide and slowly, However, unfortunately there are still drivers who squeeze past on the narrow lanes and don’t slow down.

“When I am riding on the roads, I wear hi viz clothing so that I can be clearly seen by the drivers. I also make sure that I thank all the drivers as they go past.

“Hi viz clothing is an important part of a rider’s kit and I would urge everyone to wear it when riding on the roads.”

PC Hannah McPeake from North Yorkshire Police Rural Taskforce and PCSO Kathryn Bean from Whitby Neighbourhood Policing Team visited Cara at her yard in Whitby to have a look at some of the latest designs of hi viz clothing which were provided by Millbry Hill, on the outskirts of Whitby.

PC McPeake said: “It is very disappoointing that horse riders are still riding on the roads without hi viz clothing on.

“There are many different options on the market from inexpensive simple tabards to more expensive jackets.

“Just remember it doesn’t need to be expensive, fashionable or designer, just a suitable standard to be seen.

“There are also some great items for your horse; we really liked the hi viz boots which Detonator [Cara’s horse] can be seen wearing.”

Operation Spartan is North Yorkshire’s response to vulnerable road users and seeks to identify vulnerable road users, intervening with a programme of education aimed at helping them reduce their vulnerability, by improving their attitude to driving.

Anyone can submit details of instances of dangerous or anti-social driving they have witnessed - go to http://northyorkshire.police.uk/what-we-do/road-policing/operation-spartan/ to access the driving concern form.

In the past, Cara has competed up to intermediate and CCI (Concours Complet International) three-day British eventing.

More recently, she has been concentrating on her dressage and is competing at Inter 2. Cara has also competed for GB on four occasions including twice in France.

One of Cara’s current rides is 11-year-old Hanoverian cross gelding Detonator.

Last year, she attended a road safety event at Millbry Hill. She felt strongly about the work of the police in helping to make riding on the roads safer.