Driver left with hefty bill after horse’s rampage

Some of the damage caused by the runaway horse
Some of the damage caused by the runaway horse
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A runaway horse caused thousands of pounds of damage after bolting through South Shore.

The spooked animal broke free of its trap, wrecked a car, and left a bus stop at a 45 degree angle during its weekend rampage.

Ian Garner has been left without a car following the accident

Ian Garner has been left without a car following the accident

The incident has led to calls for all animals on the road to be insured so innocent drivers aren’t left out of pocket.

Ian Garner, whose Ford Fiesta suffered an estimated ‘£3,000 to £4,000’ of damage after being hit as he turned into Highfield Road at around noon on Saturday, said: “I was not even going 15mph and the horse came at me.

“It hit the side of my car and went over the bonnet and into the windscreen. It looked at me and then ran off.

“If it had gone through the windscreen it would have been ‘see you later’.

The bus stop close to Booths was left at a 45 degree angle

The bus stop close to Booths was left at a 45 degree angle

“If it was someone crossing the road with a pram, or someone on a motorbike, they would have been killed.”

The 60-year-old supervisor at lighting firm Chelsom in Bispham, who was out shopping with his 82-year-old mother, added: “If a horse is allowed to go on the road it should be insured.”

Mr Garner, of Convent Crescent in Grange Park, has been left without a car while his is being assessed in Manchester, and said both he and his elderly mum are still recovering from the accident.

“I keep waking up and seeing horses,” he added. “It’ll fade eventually but we’re still shaken up.

One caller told police the horse had a piece of wood attached to it. This carriage was found in the street.

One caller told police the horse had a piece of wood attached to it. This carriage was found in the street.

“It could have killed us both.

“The car can be replaced, but you only get one mum. She could have had a heart attack.”

The frightened horse, described as being white or beige with brown patches, ran off after the crash.

Its fate is unknown, though it was also spotted on the loose in both Vicarage Lane and School Road.

A worker in Midgeland Road said the horse ‘seemed to know where it was going’.

He said he tried to warn passing motorists after seeing the horse running down the street, something he described as a ‘bit of a one-off’.

Lancashire Police said it received several reports of the loose horse and crash but officers did not attend.

A spokeswoman said the horse’s rider or owner was not obligated to report it had been involved in an accident, and said any damage caused to street furniture, including to the bus stop close to Booths, was a matter between them and the council.

Mr Garner said two girls who stopped gave him an address for where the horse may have come from, but it’s unclear whether its owner will be liable for the damage.

Under the Animals Act 1971, they may be, depending on several factors, including where the horse was being kept and whether its keeper was negligent.

But even if that is the case, liability insurance for horse owners is not compulsory, the British Horse Society says on its website.

It leaves Mr Garner waiting to hear whether he faces claiming for the costly repairs – or even a replacement car – on his own policy, though he said his no claims bonus should be protected.