Police rider hurt as van spooks horse in Whalley

HORSE SENSE: Di Bioletti on duty in Ribble Valley.

HORSE SENSE: Di Bioletti on duty in Ribble Valley.

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A HORSE expert with the police force was injured when a van and trailer spooked her horse and it fell on her.

Di Bioletti, a Police Community Service Officer stationed in Ribble Valley, suffered a broken foot, concussion, cuts and bruises and said she could have been more seriously hurt.

Di has run the police’s Ribble Valley Horse Watch for three years, dealing with issues of road safety, young riders and rural crime.

The incident happened in Mitton Road, Whalley, on Tuesday evening last week while Di was out riding her 14-year-old horse Basil, accompanied by three friends, all experienced riders.

Di said: “The van came at speed and its empty trailer was hitting the cat’s eyes in the road, making a lot of noise. All four horses were spooked but under control, but Basil lost his footing and went down. He slid on the road and fell on me.”

Di was taken to Royal Blackburn Hospital for treatment and is now back home but in pain and off duty.

She appealed for other road users to take care and slow down when approaching horses, the message she takes round pony clubs and employers.

She said: “All four riders and horses had high-visibility gear on, and we were doing everything right.

“I hope people will take a message from what happened to me. It could easily have been much worse.”

The vehicle that caused the accident was a white Transit-type van pulling a low-loader trailer.

PC Mike Smith from the Road Policing Unit said anyone with information should call police on 101, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

In a separate incident in Moor Lane, Whalley, rider Heather Blunt, from Wilpshire, was thrown from her horse and knocked unconscious when it was spooked by a bicycle rider.

horse sense: Di Bioletti on duty in Ribble Valley.