A brother and sister, riding in a horse-drawn carriage, were endangered and harassed by a belligerent driver of a small car. Finally their horse became so spooked that it bolted. Both carriage occupants were injured as was the horse.
Smithy was hitched to a carriage, pulling James Matthews, 25, and his sister Penny Matthews, 18, for a ride in Barton, Cambridgeshire, on Friday, September 20. Smithy was calm, “bombproof, and used to working in heavy traffic.
According to PC Kieran Watts of the Cambridgeshire Police, it was a "terrifying incident" for the Matthews and that the horse was deliberately spooked by a revving car engine and loud shouting. The car is described as a small hatchback, red or orange.
James Matthews is knowledgeable about horses and is a farrier. He says that the driver was following them too closely. Matthews wanted the driver to pass and finally turned off on High Street. Still the driver stayed behind the horse and wagon.
He wouldn't overtake, he just kept revving the car up and shouting abuse. I asked him to stop and drive past, but he wouldn't, and then the horse just took off.
Matthews gathered his thoughts and took a deep breath. He continued,
It was terrifying. We were heading full-pelt towards another car, and you just don't know what's going to happen.
Penny Matthews said:
It took both of us to hold the reins because Smithy was going at about 50 km/h [30 mph]. I could see the oncoming car, and I just closed my eyes and hoped for the best.
The carriage broke in two. Matthews had only minor injuries but his sister ended up with a broken elbow, broken ribs and cuts. The horse had pushed his head through a parked car’s windscreen and suffered cuts to his face and leg.
Police are seeking help from the public. They want to speak to the driver of the car.
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