Latest Laois Event: Pass Wide Awareness Campaign begins as horses hit Laois roads

Latest Laois Event: Pass Wide Awareness Campaign begins as horses hit Laois roads

Horses taking to the streets and roads of Laois once again! 

The Pass Wide and Slow Driver Awareness Campaign appeals to motorists to be considerate and patient when encountering horse riders and driven horses on our roads. 

Once again this year, on the 18″ of September 2022, over 200 rides will go out simultaneously across Ireland and the UK to alert and educate motorists and other road users about the growing number of riders on Irish roads. 

Most riders would prefer to seek exercise for themselves and their animals away from the escalating volume and speed of traffic. However with many of the countries off-road trails prohibiting horse riding these days, riders are left with very little alternatives but to compete with traffic on public roads. 

The message is: 

• Expect the unexpected! 

• Give yourself and others time, in order to assess the traffic situation carefully and only overtake when it is safe to do so for both of you. 

• Please comply with rider hand signals, as these often have a clear view of the situation ahead and know when the animal is prepared enough to be passed, whether from behind or on-coming! 

• PASS WIDE and SLOW, a 2 metre distance provides room to manoeuvre safely for you, horse and rider. Driving slowly gives the animal time to process your approach and will keep noise levels down. 

• Drivers need to be aware about the implications of any road incidents involving horses. It is not only the lives of horse and rider that are at stake, but the safety of drivers and their passengers too. Even a car only provides limited protection on impact with an animal weighing on average half a ton. 

The Three Counties Hacking Club is delighted to support the Pass Wide and Slow Campaign again this year, as we welcome any efforts to increase the safety of our members and all riders on Irish Roads.

Our ride will leave Portarlington from the train station car park at 11am sharp, travelling through Portarlington via Station Road and Main Street, leaving for Emo via SuperValu, taking the R419. 

In Emo we will enter the woods to take a quick break at Emo Court. From there the horses will make their way back to Portarlington via the Ballymorris Road, and return to the railway station carpark, via Odlum’s roundabout. The Three Counties Hacking Club welcomes anyone who would like to see the horses pass by and there will be a collection bucket in aid of Portarlington native Johnny McCowen, who has recently been diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease.