Alarming new statistics by The British Horse Society (BHS) have revealed that horses are still being killed on our roads, with at least one horse dying each week across the UK in 2023.

Three equestrians were also killed last year as a result of a road incident. This is the highest rate of human fatalities recorded by the equine charity since 2018.

These figures, which are collated by the BHS each year, are a stark reminder that road incidents involving equestrians continue to persist across the UK.

This is despite the changes implemented in the Highway Code in 2022, which set out clear guidance for passing equestrians safely.

Overall, 3383 incidents were reported to the BHS over the course of 2023, with 85% of those occurring because a vehicle passed by too closely or too quickly.

Director of Safety at The British Horse Society, Alan Hiscox says: “Looking at the 2023 statistics, it is clear that a significant number of drivers are still unaware of the advice in the Highway Code and the importance of driving carefully when passing and approaching horses. This is detrimental to the safety of equestrians.

We want to inform and guide road users on how to pass horses safely, explaining the consequences of passing too fast and too close.”

As part of their Dead Slow road safety campaign, the BHS are working with key stakeholders and MPs to raise awareness of the guidance set out in the Highway Code. These key behavioural messages include passing horses at no more than 10mph and leaving at least two metres distance.

Alan added: “While we recognise and thank all those drivers who continue to follow the Highway Code guidance, there is still much work to do in order to ensure all horses and equestrians remain safe when out hacking.

To help us continue to keep horses, riders and carriage drivers safe, we are encouraging anyone who has been involved in an incident to record it via the Horse i app. We can then identify hotspots, advise stakeholders, and work towards a permanent change in some drivers’ behaviour.

The more incidents that are recorded, the more we can do to protect the rights of horse riders on Britain’s roads.”

The BHS Ride Safe Award is also available for equestrians. It provides riders with the skills and knowledge to ride safely in all environments, including on the road. If you’re interested in discovering how the Ride Safe award could help you visit: []

To support the BHS with making the world safer for horses and equestrians, and to download the Horse i app visit: