Event organiser Human Race Events has launched an investigation after triathlon competitors rode into a horse and injured its rider during the bike leg of the Royal Windsor triathlon on Sunday.
Video of the incident was posted online on Sunday, quickly going viral on Facebook, with the rider saying that she was “in shock” after the incident but that she had also received good support from the triathlon and cycling communities.
In the video the horse rider, posting on Facebook as Jennifer Katharine, is riding down the middle of the road as riders start to pass at high-speed on her right.
Despite the speed of the riders passing close to its right, the horse remains remarkably calm until a couple of riders decide to undertake the horse, one of whom clips the horse and the horse rider’s ankle, causing the horse to panic and leaving the horse rider with bruising.
In a lengthy caption accompanying her Facebook post, the rider described how scared she was being on a spooked horse and her disappointment at the dangerous standard of riding shown by the competitors in the triathlon.
However she also said that she was grateful for the support offered by other cyclists, and that she recognises that the behaviour of the riders in the video is not representative of the riding standard of all cyclists.
“Nobody stopped and the cyclist that hit me seemed to show no remorse by what looks like him lifting his middle finger at me whilst riding off as I screamed,” she wrote.
“It was terrifying being on a spooked horse and knowing that these individuals weren’t willing to stop. I am lucky to ride such a calm animal but there are other horses that really wouldn’t have tolerated the speed and proximity of those cyclists.
“I am in full support of our want to all get home safely and enjoy our sports peacefully. I hope this doesn’t divide us but makes us stronger in raising awareness of what seems like an ongoing and escalating issue regarding the lack of safety awareness from some individuals when passing vulnerable road users.
“Pass slow and wide should apply to both of us from everyone and anyone out on the road – as is stated in the Highway Code.”
More than 1,800 competitors took part in the triathlon, who were told in the event pack that “roads are open to live traffic and [they] MUST obey all Highway Code rules”, which state that horses and their riders – just like cyclists – should be passed wide and slow.
In response to the incident, Human Race Events, said it would be launching a swift investigation with competitors disqualified and banned from all future events.
“We are currently investigating an incident at the Windsor Triathlon involving a group of cyclists and a horse rider. We are taking this very seriously. Riders will be identified and disqualified from all Human Race Events. All riders are briefed to follow the Highway Code,” the organiser wrote on Twitter.
“We do not condone dangerous cycling of any kind. We sincerely apologise to the individual affected.
“We are in contact with the individual affected by the horrible incident earlier today at Windsor Triathlon. We want to sincerely apologise to her and her poor horse.
“We have convened a senior level committee internally, and along with British Triathlon we will be reviewing the video evidence to identify those involved in this. Those at fault will be disqualified and banned from all future Human Race events.
“There will be further ramifications for these people with British Triathlon and potentially further action taken.”