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Equestrian safety focus for Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal visit to Askham Bryan College

Date: 25th September 2019

Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal today (25 September) paid a visit to Askham Bryan College near York to attend a road safety awareness event organised by The British Horse Society (BHS) and the College.

As Vice-Patron of the BHS, HRH The Princess Royal observed electric car demonstrations held by Leeds-based Alfa Power looking into the impact these vehicles have on horse safety, especially when approaching a horse and rider quietly from behind. A key area of the BHS’ work is focused on road safety and protecting the safety of equestrians whilst riding on the roads.  Askham Bryan College specialises in rurally based courses including equine studies from diploma through to degree level.

The Princess Royal was also introduced to College students and lecturers who demonstrated training being undertaken for the BHS’s Ride Safe Award. The award is designed to equip riders with the skills and knowledge to confidently ride out both on and off the road.

Other demonstrations included the BHS’s Basic Sensitivity Training, delivered by BHS Accredited Professional Coaches, to train both horses and riders on how they can use very basic methods to ensure their horses are better prepared to ride on the roads and increase their safety.

Alan Hiscox, Director of Safety at The British Horse Society said: “One of the BHS’s main charitable objectives is to promote and advance the education, training and safety of the public in all matters relating to the horse. As a BHS Assessment and Training Centre, it was fantastic to be able to work with Askham Bryan College to demonstrate to HRH The Princess Royal the brilliant work The British Horse Society and its partners are doing to protect and promote the safety of equestrians across the country.”

Dr Tim Whitaker, Acting CEO and Principal of Askham Bryan College said:   “We were delighted to welcome the Princess to see our College and this ground breaking study into what is such an important part of road safety for both riders and drivers. Our students and staff were thrilled to meet and talk to the Princess, particularly given her tremendous experience and achievements as an accomplished horsewoman.”

The British Horse Society launched its Dead Slow campaign in March 2016 after collating road incident statistics on its Horse Accidents website. Since 2010, 3758 road incidents have been reported to the BHS and 315 horses and 43 humans have been killed as a result of an incident. The majority of these incidents occur due to cars passing by too closely or too quickly.

The BHS launched its ‘Dead Slow’ road safety campaign to help better educate drivers on how to pass horses on the road. The key behavioural change messages to drivers are:

If I see a horse on the road then I will …

1. Slow down to a maximum of 15mph
2. Be patient – do not sound their horn or rev the engine
3. Pass the horse wide and slow, (if safe to do so) at least a car’s width if possible
4. Drive slowly away

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Askham Bryan College,
Askham Bryan,
YO23 3FR
01904 772277