Horse-rider lucky to be alive after terrifying hit-and-run in Skegby

A horse-rider who was the victim of a terrifying hit-and-run on a country road in Skegby says she is lucky to be alive.

Tuesday, 1st June 2021, 3:47 pm
Horse-lover Samantha Barker aboard her nine-year-old mare, Millie.

Now she is calling on the authorities to implement vital safety measures on a road she brands dangerous.

Samantha Barker, 36, was out on her horse, Millie, with friend and fellow rider, Katherine Mellor, 28.

They had just left Dawgates Farm livery yard, where their horses are kept, and they were in single file on Dawgates Lane heading for an afternoon out at the Rowthorne Trail.

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Millie shows the burn-type injury that she sustained in the hit-and-run.

"But then this car came speeding round a corner and lost control,” said Samantha, who lives in Annesley.

"It just missed Katherine and her horse, but hit me and Millie, knocking me out of the saddle and on to the ground.

"The reckless driver stopped but didn’t get out of his car and didn’t even apologise.

“He just said he was only doing 50 to 55mph and then drove off. I was fuming.

A close-up of the injury to her hind quarter sustained by Millie.

"This was a hit-and-run. We were lucky we didn’t die. If it had been a young girl riding her horse, it would have killed them.”

About 50 stables are based at Dawgates Farm, so the nearby roads are used regularly by riders, including lots of youngsters.

"Yet there is not one sign that says ‘Horses, Slow’,” complained Samantha.

"Horses go up and down there on a daily basis. But the road is dangerous.

Millie recovering at her Skegby stable from the hit-and-run ordeal.

"We regularly get verbal abuse when we ask drivers to slow down.

"We have now reported it to the British Horse Society, who say that if enough complaints are made, signs will be put up.”

Millie, an eight-year-old New Forest cross thoroughbred, sustained a friction-burn-type injury on her hind quarter and was lame for several days.

Samantha, who works as chef at the Griffin’s Head pub in Papplewick, had to go to hospital, where she was treated for a sore shoulder and bruises to her arm.

Miraculously, Katherine, an air hostess who lives in Bolsover, and her horse, a nine-year-old thoroughbred cross called Bean, escaped unhurt.

The hunt is now on for the culprit, who is described as a man of large build and in his 30s. He was driving a black VW Golf.

The hit-and-run, which happened at about 1.30 pm on Thursday last week (May 27), has been reported to the police. Anyone with information is asked to contact them or to call Samantha herself on 07511 110704.

Samantha, a single mum of two teenage children, is passionate about horses and has been riding since the age of 13. She keeps another horse at Dawgates Farm – a youngster called Bob whom she has rescued from a life of neglect and abuse.

Remarkably, the hit-and-run happened almost two years to the day after she was involved in a serious accident when Millie reared up and fell on her at stables in Eastwood.

"It was horrendous,” she recalled. “I broke my pelvis in two places and was hospitalised for three days.

"It knocked my confidence badly, and I suddenly became petrified of riding.

"I only started again about four months ago, so this was the last thing I needed.”