Girl, 11, nearly thrown from horse after being splashed by passing car

AN 11-year-old girl was nearly thrown from her horse after being splashed by surface water as a driver passed.

The incident, on March 10, happened near the junction of the A350 Blandford Road and Newton Road, in Sturminster Marshall, at around 4pm.

The driver – a 61-year-old man from Poole – will now attend a driver awareness course after being identified by police.

Now, the incident has prompted Dorset Police’s Rural Crime Team to issue a reminder to motorists to “remain careful and considerate when driving past horses on Dorset roads during the busy summer months”.

“Motorists are reminded that they should drive ‘dead slow’ when overtaking riders on horseback, maintaining a two-metre distance and not exceeding 10mph,” a spokesperson said.

The March incident happened as a driver overtook “two horses, unintentionally splashing them with surface water”, the spokesperson added.

“This caused the horses to react dramatically and one of the riders – an 11-year-old girl – was nearly thrown from her horse.

“Following enquiries by officers, a 61-year-old man from Poole was identified as the driver and will attend a driver awareness course in the near future.”

PC Kate Schofield, of the Dorset Rural Crime Team, said: “Horse riders are a common sight on Dorset’s roads, and the equestrian community plays a really important role in rural life across our county.

“Anyone who knows about horses will realise they can be easily spooked when a car passes too close, so we would advise motorists to show respect for all road users and we would like to advise them about the importance of leaving the right amount of space when passing a horse rider – just as they should do when they pass other vulnerable road users, such as cyclists, moped riders and those on mobility scooters.”

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