CHARITY horse carers say they could have been killed when a lorry swerved between them.
The group from horse rescue centre How 2 Train UR Human in Small Dole are appealing for information after the close encounter with a lorry in Horn Lane.
Volunteer horse-keeper Liz Bolt said no-one was actually hit, but the horses had to jump out of the way and all the riders were left shocked and traumatised.
She said: “We were so close to being killed, I can’t tell you. Each of us said that when we got home, we all just held on to our loved ones so tightly, because we knew how it could’ve ended.
“It’s just so ironic that we have rescued these animals to give them a better life and then we go and nearly get them killed.”
The four experienced riders were on their way to Oreham Common when a lorry came round the corner and swerved in between the horses. Smiffy, a five-year-old, and 25-year-old Harmony jumped into the trees and ditch.
Mrs Bolt said Harmony had not been right since and probably strained a muscle leaping out of the way.
“The other two riders, myself and another lady, were taken forward by our horses bolting out of the way of a godness-know-how-many-tons lorry coming screeching towards them.”
They managed to stop the horses on the grass verge but the lorry driver took off without a word.
Mrs Bolt said they were so shocked, they were able to take only some of the vehicle details, and all attempts to trace it had so far had failed.
The accident happened on Tuesday, May 13, in Horn Lane, heading towards Woods Mill Nature Reserve. It was a flat-bed lorry, over 7.5 tons. The cab was white with green text with the words ‘Upper Beeding’ on the side and a fax number.
Sussex Police said: “The details were reported to police on May 20. Attempts made to trace the vehicle have drawn a blank.
“Police are appealing for witnesses after a lorry swerved to miss a car in Horn Lane, Woodmancote, on May 13 at about 4pm and spooked some horses being ridden along the lane. One of the horses was injured.
“The vehicle was a flatbed lorry with ladders on the back and a white cab with writing on the side. Anyone with information should ring police on 101 quoting serial 0768.”