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Horses involved in one incident a day on Britain's roads

A charity is urging drivers to be more careful when passing horses, after revealing that on average one incident a day happens on UK roads.

The British Horse Society (BHS) which collates statistics on the number of incidents involving horses on the roads has seen over 400 incidents in the past year, as well over a quarter of riders reporting that they were subject to road rage or abuse. Although this is a reduction on the same period the year before, the Charity is warning that this is still far too high, with eight horses killed and 68 injured in the past year alone.

Since the charity began collating statistics in November 2010:

• 2,914 incidents occurred on the road
• 39 riders and carriage drivers have died
• 230 horses have died

The BHS’ road safety campaign, Dead Slow, seeks to educate drivers on how to safely pass horses on the road. The campaign was launched in 2016 after the number of road incidents involving horses increased rapidly year on year. The charity is urging drivers to pledge that when they see a horse on the road they will:

1. Slow down to a maximum of 15mph
2. Be patient - do not sound their horn or rev the engine
3. Overtake only when it is safe to do so, ensuring that they leave at least a car’s width between their vehicle and the horse
4. Drive away smoothly

Alan Hiscox, Director of Safety at the BHS said: “We launched our Dead Slow campaign two years ago, and it is great to see that there has been a reduction in the number of road incidents. However, the statistics are still far too high, and we are urging drivers to be more considerate when passing horses on the road”.

The BHS has worked with MPs and Government to gather support for the campaign. In 2017 they commissioned the Transport Research Laboratory to look into what riders can do to ensure they are seen on the roads. The report found that as well as conspicuous clothing, lights on both the rider and the horse means they can be seen sooner, allowing the driver time to slow down. The report also suggested that there should be a reduction in speed limit, in areas where horses are frequently ridden.

• 404 road incidents from 2017-2018
• 8 equine deaths / 74 horses injured
• 1 carriage driver killed
• 94 riders injured
• Riders victim to road rage or abuse: 30%
• 84% of incidents occurred because the vehicle was too close to the horse

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What the personal accident policy covers you for:

  • Whilst at work
  • All stable duties – mucking out, grooming, washing off, turning out
  • Clipping
  • Riding – including hacking and jumping
  • Hunting
  • Lunging
  • Breaking in
  • Holding horse for a vet and other procedures
  • Travelling horses both in the UK and abroad
  • Competing in line with your job including: jumping, dressage, eventing
  • Injuries that may happen to you whilst you are teaching - but you must also be grooming as part of your duties and not be a sole instructor

What the personal accident policy doesn’t cover you for:

  • Riding in a race, point to point or team chase
  • Stunt Riding
  • Accidents occurring whilst travelling to and from work
  • Riding and competing your own horse (but you can upgrade when applying for membership to include this)
  • Public Liability – this is a separate insurance policy - the Freelance Groom Liability Insurance
  • Care Custody and Control – this is a separate policy - the Freelance Groom Liability Insurance

If you require additional cover then please contact KBIS directly.


When you are working for other people you do most of the following; muck out, turn out/catch in, tack up, groom horses, exercise Horses (including hacking, jumping and schooling), in the care of your employer/client.




Predominantly ride horses for other people including schooling, exercising and competing.   

 Provide grooming services for someone else either full time or on a freelance basis i.e. an employer or a client.   


Employ staff – have an employers liability policy in your name NO NO YES
Buy and sell horses NO YES YES