Suddenly, I heard a car approaching from behind. I turned around to look, but the car never slowed down. Before I knew it, the driver had hit us.

I will never forget the awful sound of when the car struck Jazzy. Everything happened so quickly. I don’t remember falling off, I just remember looking up and screaming as I saw Jazzy lying in the road covered in blood. The crash had open fractured her back leg, but she was fighting to get up, and I could see the sheer terror in her eyes.

I was more worried about Jazzy than myself and I asked everyone around to call the vet before the police or anyone else. I had to be taken away from her as I was distraught watching her struggle to get up. I was taken to hospital in an ambulance and found out I had broken both of my hands and had several cuts and bruises. Tragically, Jazzy had to be euthanised on scene due to the severity of her injuries.

I am still going through physiotherapy and the crash has had a lasting mental impact on me. I won’t ever forget that day and I won’t ever forget Jazzy. I was able to walk away from the collision without any life-threatening injuries, but many others are not so lucky. I don’t want to be terrified every time I’m on the roads, and nor should anyone else. That’s why I’m sharing my story: to raise awareness of the need for drivers to be careful on country roads, and of how vulnerable horses and their riders are. I just want drivers to think that there could always be someone around that corner, so please just slow down and be patient. Incidents like this are entirely avoidable, and horses have just as much right to be on the roads as cars do. Unlike drivers we’re not protected by a metal box, we’re on a living, breathing animal, and one that is deeply loved.

Following my crash, I had a meeting with the British Horse Society. I found out that not many riders know about their ‘report an incident’ feature, meaning so many crashes, dangers and near-misses go unreported. Not only can you log information on their website, they have just launched a new app so you can share details there and then in a matter of minutes. If more people knew about this feature it could help prevent future crashes as the BHS can only put up warning signs or work with local authorities if they get reports. Thank you Brake for sharing my story and helping me to inform more riders or this feature. I’m desperate to help prevent crashes and save lives of both people and horses like Jazzy.

Everyone at Brake would like to thank Trisha for bravely sharing her story and for raising awareness of horse riders, and the work of the British Horse Society to report and act on incidents with horses on our roads. Find out more

If you’re interested in taking action for road safety for horse riders and all road users, you can sign up to MyBrake to access guidance and information on how to make change to our roads.

Rebecca Stuart

Rebecca Stuart

Digital marketing officer, Brake