Horse Rider Injured By Four-By-Four Driver Fears She Will Never Ride Again

Serious Injury Experts Work To Secure Rehabilitation Package


A mum-of-three who suffered devastating injuries when she and the horse she was riding were ploughed into by a four-by-four vehicle has spoken of her ordeal for the first time after the driver pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention this week (17 February).

Cheryl Kirkhope says she fears she is too traumatised to ever ride again after she suffered a broken back, fractured ribs, broken nose and a head injury when a driver failed to spot her and knocked her from her horse after she stopped to give tourists directions in the New Forest on 6 July 2013.

The 46-year-old has instructed serious injury experts at law firm Irwin Mitchell to help her gain funds for ongoing treatment and rehabilitation. The firm is pursuing the claim through the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB) because the driver, Brian Streek’s, insurers will not cover him as he was driving for work purposes and his employers had not yet added the vehicle to their fleet policy.

Mr Streek pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention on Monday and was sentenced to eight points on his licence and £45 court fees.

But 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 her 12-year-old horse, American Sunset, down because he was so severely hurt.

“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,” Cheryl, who lives in Ferndown, said.

“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.”

Alison Eddy, a Partner and serious injury expert at Irwin Mitchell, which is opening an office in Southampton in April, is representing Cheryl.

Expert Opinion
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 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.”
Alison Eddy, Partner

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise relating to serious injury claims.