'Justice has not been done' – mum who suffered broken back in collision while riding horse speaks out

Bournemouth Echo: CLAIMS: Cheryl Kirkhope and her horse American Sunset CLAIMS: Cheryl Kirkhope and her horse American Sunset

A MUM who was left with a series of devastating injuries when the horse she was riding was hit by a 4x4 in the New Forest has spoken of her ordeal for the first time.

It comes after the driver responsible admitted driving without due care and attention in court this week.

Cheryl Kirkhope, 46, says she fears she is too traumatised to ever ride again after she suffered a broken back, fractured ribs, a broken nose and a head injury when the driver failed to spot her and knocked her from her horse after she stopped to give tourists directions at Crow Hill, near Ringwood, last July.

Brian Streek, 78, of Bagnum, Ringwood, pleaded guilty at Aldershot Magistrates’ Court to the offence and was given eight points on his licence and ordered to pay £45 court fees.

Cheryl, from Ferndown, has now instructed a law firm to help her pursue a claim to fund her treatment and rehabilitation.

Mum-of-three Cheryl, who has been unable to return to work as a farm hand, says she feels that justice has not been done, due to the impact her injuries continue to have on her life and the fact she had to put down her 12-year-old horse, American Sunset, because he was so severely hurt.

She added: “The consequences of the driver not seeing me or my horse have been life changing and over six months on I am still struggling to come to terms with everything that has happened.

“The medical staff at Southampton General Hospital were fantastic and ultimately saved my life.

“I am all too aware that things could have been much worse though.

“I am still in constant pain with my back and ribs, have sleepless nights and cannot get back to the active lifestyle I used to have.

“The hardest thing is the fear I now have of riding.

“It was a huge part of my life before but I am still too anxious to get back in the saddle as I have flashbacks about what happened that day.

“I’m worried I will never be able to ride again.

“Nothing can turn back the clock but I would have liked to have seen real justice done as my life has changed significantly through no fault of my own.”

Law firm looks to secure funds

ALISON Eddy, a partner and serious injury expert at law firm Irwin Mitchell, is representing Cheryl.

She said: “Both the physical and psychological injuries Cheryl suffered continue to have a huge impact on her life. She needs a range of rehabilitation, such as physiotherapy and cognitive therapies, to help her recover and try and get her life back on track.

“We are working with the MIB (Motor Insurers Bureau) to secure funds which will provide this and allow Cheryl to begin rebuilding her life.

“We have repeatedly called for all road users to take greater care and be more vigilant of others in order to improve road safety.

“We hope Cheryl’s case acts as a reminder about how important it is for motorists and horse riders to share the roads safely to prevent serious injury.”

Comments (14)

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7:11am Fri 21 Feb 14

DNB says...

Unfortunately, we live in a country where car is king! Just look at the number of cyclists that are "murdered" by car drivers and yet the drivers walk free...
Unfortunately, we live in a country where car is king! Just look at the number of cyclists that are "murdered" by car drivers and yet the drivers walk free... DNB

7:46am Fri 21 Feb 14

roguetrader666 says...

Why does her solicitor have to deal with the MIB? Wasn't the driver insured?
Why does her solicitor have to deal with the MIB? Wasn't the driver insured? roguetrader666

7:54am Fri 21 Feb 14

bluto999 says...

It is hard to believe just how lenient the law is when someone kills or seriously injures someone with a motor vehicle.
It is hard to believe just how lenient the law is when someone kills or seriously injures someone with a motor vehicle. bluto999

8:46am Fri 21 Feb 14

echor23 says...

What a repulsive so called punishment. My heart bleeds for you, I know this road so well and am always so careful and it infuriates me to see people drive so fast through the forest.
With help and support you will ride again
The punishment for this man is barbaric and should be fought, he caused death to your horse and near death to you. He should go down for what he's done and loose his licence.
What a repulsive so called punishment. My heart bleeds for you, I know this road so well and am always so careful and it infuriates me to see people drive so fast through the forest. With help and support you will ride again The punishment for this man is barbaric and should be fought, he caused death to your horse and near death to you. He should go down for what he's done and loose his licence. echor23

8:54am Fri 21 Feb 14

Imho57 says...

How can you fail to see a horse and a rider!!! At 78 surely rather than points a driving ban and ensuring perfect eyesight before he can get behind the wheel again would be a better idea. The next person may not be so lucky.I hope life improves soon Cheryl.
How can you fail to see a horse and a rider!!! At 78 surely rather than points a driving ban and ensuring perfect eyesight before he can get behind the wheel again would be a better idea. The next person may not be so lucky.I hope life improves soon Cheryl. Imho57

9:20am Fri 21 Feb 14

suzigirl says...

DNB wrote:
Unfortunately, we live in a country where car is king! Just look at the number of cyclists that are "murdered" by car drivers and yet the drivers walk free...
That's a bit strong "murdered". You left the "malice aforethought" out! I don't think 99.999% of car drivers who have been involved in RTA's have gone out to murder cyclists - unfortunately some cyclists don't help themselves with what they get up to on the road.......
[quote][p][bold]DNB[/bold] wrote: Unfortunately, we live in a country where car is king! Just look at the number of cyclists that are "murdered" by car drivers and yet the drivers walk free...[/p][/quote]That's a bit strong "murdered". You left the "malice aforethought" out! I don't think 99.999% of car drivers who have been involved in RTA's have gone out to murder cyclists - unfortunately some cyclists don't help themselves with what they get up to on the road....... suzigirl

10:06am Fri 21 Feb 14

we-shall-see says...

roguetrader666 wrote:
Why does her solicitor have to deal with the MIB? Wasn't the driver insured?
I would think that she has enough to deal with at present, so has engaged a solicitor to deal it it on her behalf - which will be both quicker and easier for her while she is still recovering.

Personally, if that driver could not see a horse in the road, I think he should have been banned from driving. What next - that he "didn't see" a small child crossing a road somewhere? Or "didn't see" a motorcyclist/cyclist
/pedestrian?

Get him off the road! His eye sight is obviously VERY poor!!

Wishing Cheryl a continued recovery.
[quote][p][bold]roguetrader666[/bold] wrote: Why does her solicitor have to deal with the MIB? Wasn't the driver insured?[/p][/quote]I would think that she has enough to deal with at present, so has engaged a solicitor to deal it it on her behalf - which will be both quicker and easier for her while she is still recovering. Personally, if that driver could not see a horse in the road, I think he should have been banned from driving. What next - that he "didn't see" a small child crossing a road somewhere? Or "didn't see" a motorcyclist/cyclist /pedestrian? Get him off the road! His eye sight is obviously VERY poor!! Wishing Cheryl a continued recovery. we-shall-see

10:41am Fri 21 Feb 14

Sir Beachy Head says...

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Motorists should have to sit a full proper re-test at the age of 70 and again every 3 years if they want to keep driving.

90% would fail on the eyesight test alone.
I've said it before and I'll say it again. Motorists should have to sit a full proper re-test at the age of 70 and again every 3 years if they want to keep driving. 90% would fail on the eyesight test alone. Sir Beachy Head

10:46am Fri 21 Feb 14

speedy231278 says...

The New Forest is vast, why would you even think about riding a horse on a road when everyone knows the local driving standards are appalling?
The New Forest is vast, why would you even think about riding a horse on a road when everyone knows the local driving standards are appalling? speedy231278

4:09pm Fri 21 Feb 14

Arthur Maureen says...

suzigirl wrote:
DNB wrote:
Unfortunately, we live in a country where car is king! Just look at the number of cyclists that are "murdered" by car drivers and yet the drivers walk free...
That's a bit strong "murdered". You left the "malice aforethought" out! I don't think 99.999% of car drivers who have been involved in RTA's have gone out to murder cyclists - unfortunately some cyclists don't help themselves with what they get up to on the road.......
Here you go again with your trolling anti-cyclist rants - I bet you hang around your computer feverishly waiting for someone to post anything cycle related, which aside from the post you hijacked you sad case.
[quote][p][bold]suzigirl[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]DNB[/bold] wrote: Unfortunately, we live in a country where car is king! Just look at the number of cyclists that are "murdered" by car drivers and yet the drivers walk free...[/p][/quote]That's a bit strong "murdered". You left the "malice aforethought" out! I don't think 99.999% of car drivers who have been involved in RTA's have gone out to murder cyclists - unfortunately some cyclists don't help themselves with what they get up to on the road.......[/p][/quote]Here you go again with your trolling anti-cyclist rants - I bet you hang around your computer feverishly waiting for someone to post anything cycle related, which aside from the post you hijacked you sad case. Arthur Maureen

4:12pm Fri 21 Feb 14

Arthur Maureen says...

I wish this lady all the very best with her case against this driver, she shouldn't have to though - the courts should have dealt with this severely in the first place.
I wish this lady all the very best with her case against this driver, she shouldn't have to though - the courts should have dealt with this severely in the first place. Arthur Maureen

11:11pm Fri 21 Feb 14

sprintervanman says...

My first rule of the road when approaching and passing a vulnerable road user be it horse rider/cyclist.Slowin
g down and passing when safe to do so wont kill you or ruin your day.Not doing so can kill them and ruin their Families lives.Please give that a thought when out on the roads.
Best wishes to the Lady involved and a full speedy recovery.
My first rule of the road when approaching and passing a vulnerable road user be it horse rider/cyclist.Slowin g down and passing when safe to do so wont kill you or ruin your day.Not doing so can kill them and ruin their Families lives.Please give that a thought when out on the roads. Best wishes to the Lady involved and a full speedy recovery. sprintervanman

9:22am Sat 22 Feb 14

sheppardio34 says...

On very bright sunny days driving through the forest you get dappled light and it is very easy not to be able to see things in the road, this has been proved by the police.
A car was stopped in the road which was seen but very unfortunately the rider was not.
It was a very unfortunate accident and the driver has admitted responsibility. Without actually knowing all the facts and being at the court case how can you say if the punishment is good enough
On very bright sunny days driving through the forest you get dappled light and it is very easy not to be able to see things in the road, this has been proved by the police. A car was stopped in the road which was seen but very unfortunately the rider was not. It was a very unfortunate accident and the driver has admitted responsibility. Without actually knowing all the facts and being at the court case how can you say if the punishment is good enough sheppardio34

2:15pm Sat 22 Feb 14

ForestFan says...

sheppardio34 wrote:
On very bright sunny days driving through the forest you get dappled light and it is very easy not to be able to see things in the road, this has been proved by the police.
A car was stopped in the road which was seen but very unfortunately the rider was not.
It was a very unfortunate accident and the driver has admitted responsibility. Without actually knowing all the facts and being at the court case how can you say if the punishment is good enough
Ummm it was also proved that there was over 200 meters of clear vision to the point of impact and no skidmarks were present even at 1 meter from the large horses bottom who was stood in the road next to the stopped vehicle!! It may also be prudent to point out this person holds a gun license yet fails to see said large horse on straight road next to stopped vehicle !! Ishould hate to be the dog walker on a summers evening walking thru a wooded area !! When ypu are getting old you are getting old and hopefully most of us have gods good grace to Quit driving and shooting before we kill someone and not after.
[quote][p][bold]sheppardio34[/bold] wrote: On very bright sunny days driving through the forest you get dappled light and it is very easy not to be able to see things in the road, this has been proved by the police. A car was stopped in the road which was seen but very unfortunately the rider was not. It was a very unfortunate accident and the driver has admitted responsibility. Without actually knowing all the facts and being at the court case how can you say if the punishment is good enough[/p][/quote]Ummm it was also proved that there was over 200 meters of clear vision to the point of impact and no skidmarks were present even at 1 meter from the large horses bottom who was stood in the road next to the stopped vehicle!! It may also be prudent to point out this person holds a gun license yet fails to see said large horse on straight road next to stopped vehicle !! Ishould hate to be the dog walker on a summers evening walking thru a wooded area !! When ypu are getting old you are getting old and hopefully most of us have gods good grace to Quit driving and shooting before we kill someone and not after. ForestFan

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