A rider who was seriously injured and her horse killed in a crash at Clifton is lobbying the Government to introduce an extra section to driving tests — named Bart’s Law in memory of her horse.
Francesca Kennedy, 20, was out with her 11-year-old Irish sports horse Bart on a hack through the village with friend Hannah Farrell on December 30 when she was in collision with a vehicle.
She was airlifted to hospital with serious injuries and has been left devastated after her horse had to be euthanised.
Following the accident, Francesca, who suffered two torn ligaments, a torn tendon and nerve damage, and 25-year-old Hannah set up a donations link for the Great North Air Ambulance Service, which has so far raised more than £3,000, and a separate GoFundMe page which has generated a further £1,380
They are in the process of registering Bart’s Legacy as an official charity with the aim of educating road users on safety around horses and riders.
Francesca, who is studying to become a paramedic and started an access course at Kendal College while working as a carer for Penrith’s Bellcare, said: “We have raised nearly £5,000 already, I’m honestly speechless.
“The horse community is tight knit and all have the same thing in common — we love a horse we don’t want to lose the way I lost Bart. The wider public as well have been amazing.”
The women have begun lobbying MPs to have the Government introduce Bart’s Law, which would be an additional section of the UK driving test focused on how to drive around horses.
They are also working with the British Horse Society to produce educational videos and, once COVID restrictions allow, they want to deliver talks in local schools.
The first initiative they are launching through Bart’s Legacy is calling on schoolchildren, teachers and home schooling parents to get involved in a lockdown competition for all pupils aged between four and 16 to design a sign asking drivers to slow down for horses.
The winning entry will be made into a sign.
Both the winner and two runners-up will receive a GNAAS bear, donated by the charity.
The competition has gained backing on social media and been shared to 22,500 people to date.
Entries cost £2 and all money raised will be donated to the Great North Air Ambulance Service.
Entries close on February 15 and the winners will be announced on February 20.