Warwickshire Road Safety Partnership Awarded BHS Tarquin Trophy for Equestrian Safety

Warwickshire Road Safety Partnership (WRSP) has been awarded The British Horse Society (BHS) Tarquin Trophy for excellent service by an organisation or business in the cause of equestrian safety.

The award recognises that Warwickshire Road Safety Partnership has gone above and beyond to share advice and guidance to drivers in Warwickshire to improve road safety in the equine community.

This includes regularly raising awareness through the media and social media of the updated Highway Code that explains how drivers and motorcyclists should safely pass horses by slowing down to 10mph and allowing 2m when passing them on the roads. 

During Operation Close Pass in September in Brinklow Warwickshire Police Rural Crime Team with the Local Safer Neighbourhoods Team joined forces with a Police Mounted Volunteer Lynda and her horse Murphy to test how well the public understood these new Highway Code rules. Whilst the majority of drivers complied, passing horses too fast and too close is the biggest cause of incidents involving horses on our roads and the partnership will continue to promote the new rules.

To support this, 62 BHS Dead Slow boards were distributed to livery yards across the county to raise awareness of how to pass horses safely. The partnership is in the process of allocating a further 8, and keeps 5 to help explain the initiative at events such as horse shows and yard and venue visits and to be able to react in the event of a new hotspot.

It’s important equestrians can be seen on the roads and the partnership funded High visibility items that were given out at livery yards across the county and at agricultural shows supported by the Warwickshire Police Rural Crime Team.  This was also supported with crime prevention advice and equipment marking.  

WRSP created three animated clips to help raise awareness of the changes to the Highway Code for equestrians aimed at drivers safely passing horses, drivers safely passing horse drawn carriages and information for equestrians on how to keep themselves and their horses as safe as possible whilst using the roads.  These included members of Warwickshire Horse Watch.

With the support of the Project EDWARD film crew and The British Horse Society, WRSP created two videos to raise awareness of the changes to the Highway Code. The videos were filmed in July 2022 with support from Warwickshire Police Rural Crime team and Warwickshire Horse Watch.  The videos have reached over 11,000 people on social media and are available to access on the partnership website and YouTube channel.  A professional photographer also attended the filming, so the partnership gained an asset of the horse safety photographs to be used on social media and educational products.

We know incidents involving horses on the roads are under reported and so we encourage equestrians to report incidents to The British Horse Society Horse i app to help us understand the true picture of what is happening.  It is hoped this will help partners focus resources where they are really needed.   We also promote Op Snap to equestrians to encourage them to submit helmet cam footage of potential moving traffic offences.  Evidence is reviewed by a police officer and submitters are informed if the case can be progressed or not.  

Speaking after the awards ceremony at Newbury Racecourse on Thursday 9 November, Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner and Warwickshire Road Safety Partnership Chair said:

“On behalf of the Partnership, I am delighted to accept this prestigious trophy. It demonstrates that by working together to improve road safety in Warwickshire, road safety partners really can achieve great things. It’s great to see this getting the widespread recognition it deserves. 

“Equestrians are some of our most vulnerable road users and as a Police and Crime Commissioner of a largely rural county, I know how important it is to help them be safer and also feel safer on our roads. The Partnership has put considerable effort into its education programme to raise awareness of the dangers horse riders face, the responsibilities all road users have to share the roads safely and to help riders be highly visible.

“I’m extremely grateful to all our road safety partners for their hard work and dedication in achieving this award. This includes Warwickshire Police Operational Policing Unit and Rural Crime Team, Warwickshire Horse Watch, Warwickshire County Council and Project Edward, plus my colleagues in the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Warwickshire.

“I would also like to express the Partnership’s thanks to Alan Hiscox, Director of Safety at The British Horse Society for his ongoing guidance and support.”

Equestrian Road Safety videos:

Equestrian road safety video- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXgjYcwgvbM  

Drivers passing horses road safety video- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hd65eH_co34&t=3s  

Drivers passing horsedrawn carriages Video- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOkOo_juKSs  

Project Edward videos:- 

Equestrian Highway Code video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzDx7dnakjE  

What’s on Your Horizon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Gbx87pfyTE 



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