Motorists should take special care when overtaking horses on the roads and never use their horn or lights in a way that might startle the animal or the rider, according to new guidelines.
A booklet, titled Horse Road Safety on Public Roads, was published by the Road Safety Authority, Horse Sport Ireland and the gardaí yesterday in an effort to improve road safety.
It provides practical information for drivers and riders such as how to lead or drive horses on the road, how to signal, how to behave at junctions, and how to overtake horses safely.
“The RSA regularly gets queries from members of the public who are unsure what to do when sharing the roads with horses so this booklet will help clarify what the most appropriate behaviour is in certain situations,” said RSA chairperson Liz O’Donnell.
“Horses and riders have every right to be on our roads, but like all other road users they must follow the rules of the road.”
Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe said Ireland has a “proud tradition of excellence in equestrian sport” and, as such, tens of thousands of people across the country enjoy horse riding both professionally and as a hobby.
“So this booklet is an important guide for anyone who rides or walks with horses on public roads and for all road users who may encounter horses and their riders during their travels.”
The booklet will be available at driving test centres, theory test centres, garda stations and libraries and will be available for download from www.rsa.ie and www.horsesportireland.ie.
Meanwhile, the Dublin Horse Show opened at the RDS yesterday, with over 20,000 people expected to attend overall. The show will also play host to 300 trade stalls and almost 1,500 horses.
Ladies Day takes place today, where the prestigious title of Best Dressed will be bestowed, accompanied by a €10,000 voucher for Dundrum Town Centre, while tomorrow will be dominated by the Furusiyya FEI Nations’ Cup.
Saturday will see an accumulator competition and the JLT Dublin Stakes while Sunday hosts the Speed Championship followed by the Longines Grand Prix.
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