THE friend of a horse rider whose neck was broken in a riding accident in Honeybourne says it was a miracle her friend hadn't been killed.

Twenty-eight-year-old Rosie Archibald was riding her horse along the Bretforton Road on Wednesday morning, May 25, when they were struck by a tractor.

She sustained a broken C6 vertebrae and her horse, Rio, a gentle 17hh ex-racehorse, sustained deep lacerations and cuts.

Friend Vicky Tomkins who was with Ms Archibald said they often experience bad driving when out riding and is appealing to drivers to have more care and patience when approaching or passing horses.

"I have 25 years' experience in riding and Rosie has 10 years. Both our horses are quiet and good in traffic but when this tractor came along it was very noisy, " she said. "It was an old tractor and rattly. It was probably going about 20mph and Rosie waved it to slow down but it just kept coming. The next thing was seeing her horse knocked off his feet and Rosie coming off. She fell to the road onto her head. She was badly injured but if she had come off on the other side the horse would have fallen on her and killed her. It was really frightening.

"I can't understand why people can't take care around horses. Just slowing down isn't going to make their journey any longer."

Ms Archibold was taken to The Alexander Hospital, in Redditch, where she has had MRI and CT scans to see the extent of the injury. She was able to speak to the Journal from the hospital. She said: "I've had the scans and am now waiting to see whether I have to go to Coventry for surgery on my neck. I am lucky I wasn't killed. I am told there is a fracture and a piece of bone is near my spinal cord which is serious. I have three children and they could easily have lost their mum.

"I am really angry about this. My horse, who is so quiet and used to tractors from being on a farm, was badly injured. He has had to be stitched up and will now be stabled for a month so he can heal.

"We wear hi-vis vests so we can be seen easily. All horse riders ask is that drivers respect the horses and slow down when they approach them. This accident will have really shaken him."

She said she wants to thank two men in an articulated vehicle which was travelling behind the tractor and a woman in a blue car. The woman and the two men witnessed the collision and stopped to see if she was alright.

A spokesman for West Mercia Police said they had been informed about the incident and were conducting investigations.

Anyone with information is asked to contact 101 with incident number 155 of May 25.