Football fans urged to give horses wide berth

Following an incident in Cornwall The British Horse Society is urging England Football supporters to be aware of the dangers that flying flags on their cars could create for horses and riders.

A rider was hospitalised in Southern Cornwall when the horse she was riding took fright at the noise of flapping flags mounted on the bonnet of a passing car. The horse bolted and fell, narrowly missing a second car.

Sheila Hardy, BHS Senior Executive of the Safety Department, said: “The BHS understands fans wishing to show their support for the England team by flying St George’s flags on their vehicles.

“However, we would ask everyone to be aware that horses are likely to be startled by the loud flutter that car window flags generate and to pass any horses they encounter on the road with due care and attention.”

The Society is advising drivers with car-mounted flags to slow down even more and give horses a wider berth when overtaking. We would also ask supporters to consider flying flags only on the offside of their vehicle to allow more room between the horse and the flag.

For further information, please contact: Alison Coleman, The British Horse Society, 01926 707737 or