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Walking on Downs near Gallops

On 6 Mar 2009 at 10:32am A dog walker wrote:
A warning to other dog walkers who use footpaths around the old Lewes racecourse. This morning at 8.30 while walking my dogs on a footpath (not a bridleway) I was accosted and verbally threatened and abused by 8 riders from the stables at the Old Racecourse - horses wear stripy beige and red rugs. I have reported this incident to the police but I have heard from neighbours who have experienced similar episodes. I would be interested to hear if anyone else has had any bad experiences with riders on the Downs as I fear that we are being intimidated to the point of being afraid to walk there.
On 6 Mar 2009 at 10:51am Local wrote:
I walk up there sometimes. What did they say? Were they suggesting you shouldn't be walking there? I'd complaint to the stables as well as the police if I were you, letting the stables know you were concerned enough to contact the police. I used to ride and I'd be ashamed if I or any of my fellow riders had behaved in the way you say.
On 6 Mar 2009 at 10:56am Wallands Mum wrote:
A few years back I was walking on a narrow footpath with my son to school.
Next thing a runaway horse with no rider came from nowhere and galloped past us.It was foaming at the mouth and looked totally freaked out.
There was nowhere for us to go to get out of the way so we had to jump into a bramble hedge.Not pleasant.I have never forgotten that incident.
On 6 Mar 2009 at 1:09pm Concerned wrote:
I take it you had your dogs on a lead at the time?
On 6 Mar 2009 at 1:46pm frankfutersausage wrote:
They are rude!. One girl, who looks likes she is chewing a wasp, rides her horse around the pavements on nevill estate, just as the kids are going to school. She moans to the parents about the kids running and frightening her horse!. Met a group of them on the twitten between Hill road and nevill road. I was with a friend who has a double buggy and a walking child. They proceded to come down the narrow path forcing us, buggy and all up onto the verge and less than 12 inches away from them
On 6 Mar 2009 at 2:13pm Wallands Mum wrote:
That was the same twitten that the horse ran down...
On 6 Mar 2009 at 2:19pm A dog walker wrote:
Hi Local - what they said was unprintable - foul mouthed and threatening. I asked why they were using the footpath when it is the only one on the Downs that is not a Bridleway - the response I got was incoherent in terms of explaining why they were there - but the 2 riders concerned called me as many abusive names as they could muster given their obviously limited vocabulary! I have lived and walked here for 16 years and thought that I was on good terms with all the local riders - I don't understand why things have changed - although I understand that there is a different owner now of the Gallops.
On 6 Mar 2009 at 5:14pm Its Not Rocket Science wrote:
They are a pain in the @rse those people, and incredibly rude with it. They are always riding around the roads on the Neville at around 8.00 - 8.30 in the morning just when everyone needs to be going to work or school. They ride 2 abreast at snails pace and refuse to move to the side even when they know there are several cars behind them. Even when you drive up to them head on they won't move, and don't acknowledge the fact that you have to move out of their way. Suppose they think they own the downs and the roads.
On 6 Mar 2009 at 6:14pm Bobs Your Uncle wrote:
Isnt it compulsory for horse riders to have a sanctimonious and condescending attitude?
On 6 Mar 2009 at 8:29pm Kinf of Nevill wrote:
You took the words right off my keyboard, INRS. The worst one is Hoad (blond hair, used to drink in the Crown). Never smiles or speaks no matter what you do to accomodate him and his bloody horse. W@nkers the lot of them.
On 8 Mar 2009 at 1:10pm Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
There were problems recently with them riding on the footpath to the rear of the houses in Highdown Road, the one that runs uphill from the allotments. Someone complained to the ranger and they were "spoken to", and have since stopped riding up that particular path.
If this incident happened in one of the fields managed by the rangers (the ones on either side of the motor road), I'd be minded to report it to them, as they've already had occasion to speak to them about their behaviour.
FYI, Concerned, there's no need to have your dog on a lead on a "rural" footpath, as long as it is under control.
On the other hand, as it was a footpath, not a bridleway, the horses had no right to be there. The problem of racehorses all over the place only seems to have occurred since they put fences up on the gallops and can no longer use them for non-jumping training. They've been using the fields a lot more since then.
I don't have a problem with them being on the road. They need to do the roadwork to get them fit, and let's face it, it's perfectly legal, unlike riding on a footpath.
On 9 Mar 2009 at 1:16pm Its Not Rocket Science wrote:
I don't have a problem with them using the roads as such, but they could at least try and do so in non rush hour times. More importantly they could show some respect towards other road users instead of the aloof rudeness and ignorance that they currently display. Surely, instead of riding 2 abreast and blocking the whole road, just riding at the side so that cars can get by cannot be such a hardship ???
On 11 Mar 2009 at 9:27am Frak wrote:
Horsey people always seem to be a bit stuck up and pompous - they believe that everything should stop for them and their horse. It their choice to ride and if things scare their horse, that's their problem not anyone elses.
On 28 Oct 2015 at 1:07pm JOHN FFITCH-HEYES wrote:
HORSES have priority on public roads. The 2 roads to the racecourse are privately owned by the residents of the racecourse. The smaller one on the inner is a footpath half way to the bend where the public then cross the main motorway to join up to walk on the additional council owned footpath to Mt Harry .No riders from the lewes stables use this footpath its to slippery for horses. No one is allowed to walk dogs, walk children and buggies , Drive, cycle on the private motor road this is a private road and its upkeep is paid for by the residents. No one should be parking at the entrance to the motor road on the grass verge this impairs the vision of drivers trying to cross this busy main road. There are ample bridleways and footpaths for all and its common sense for people to keep their dogs on leads where they know horses are exercised. Most horses have finished there work by 1 o'clock I trained here for 18 years and never fell out once with other users even though there are 37 recorded cases of broken arms, legs, collar bones and wrist fractures at the local hospital of riders being chassed by dogs off leads. We never fenced the land Lewes council did. We never constructed illegal dangerous crossways over the motor road Lewes council did. We never constructed illegal gateways from the allotments onto the footpath Lewes council did. Please don't blame the riders and trainers for everything and remember this is a working environment not a holiday camp. We also have paid for the removal of brambles and cut back the verges of the footpath at our own expense in order that its assessable so far the council have contributed nill.

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