CHAMPION Solihull cyclist David Rutherford was lucky to escape serious injury after loose horses created carnage with riders taking part at the British Masters Road Race Championships in rural Essex last Sunday.
Rutherford was contesting the 50 plus category race which was reaching the closing stages of its 60-mile course when it was confronted by three horse riders coming in the opposite direction.
Rutherford revealed: “There was only six miles to go at the time and a couple of riders were trying to break off the front, so we must have been going at around 30mph.
“There must have been between 20 to 30 riders still in the group when we came across the horses, who just completely flipped.
“The first horse threw its lady rider onto the grass verge and then began to gallop along the road with the other two horses in the same direction we were going.
“A second horse then despatched its rider onto a parked car and she bounced off it and onto the road.
The third rider managed to get her horse under some semblance of control, but it kept rearing and backing up.
“Eventually it backed into me as I was trying to get out of the way and knocked me into the verge along with another rider.
“I wasn’t hurt, but I was concerned for the two ladies who’d been thrown off.
“A few cyclists managed to avoid what was going on and finished the race.
“However the result was withheld and we’re still waiting to see what happens. If you have riders involved in a crash, it doesn’t necessarily stop the race.
“I was hoping to get a medal, especially with an uphill finish, which suits me”.
Rutherford, who has twice struck gold in the British Masters previously added: “I’ve come across this situation before when I was competing in Leicestershire, but on that occasion, the two horses involved legged it into a field.
“I plan to get in touch with last Sunday’s race organiser to see if the ladies who were thrown off are ok!”