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19 October 2017

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Horse Rider Awareness Text1 17Horse riders from across Anglesey and North Wales visited RAF Valley recently to promote horse rider safety. The riders - including senior members of the British Horse Society - were at the base to meet with rotary and fast jet aircrew to discuss the safety benefits of wearing hi-visibility clothing whilst riding.

The use of high visibility clothing by horses and riders is acknowledged as a key factor in reducing accidents on the road, but it is also a factor in helping aviators see and avoid horses and riders from the air. Personnel from RAF Valley based 202(R) Squadron, a mountains and maritime helicopter training unit explained how hi-visibility clothing can be spotted from a distance and appropriate actionHorse Rider Awareness Text2 17 taken.

Petty Officer Geraint Morris from 202(R) Squadron explained “If riders are wearing hi-visibility clothing we can see them from a distance, especially if everyone in the group is wearing them. Often, it’s less noisy for a helicopter to reduce power and fly over the riders rather than make a sharp, noisy turn before we reach them. Sessions like these are really important so that we can explain to riders how seriously we take their safety, but they have to help us by wearing the right kit”.

The riders visited 202(R) Squadron to see the Griffin helicopters first hand, and also paid a visit to the Hawk T2’s of IV(R) Squadron. They were also given a complimentary set of RAF Valley branded hi-visibility kit; hat band, tabard and horse quarter-sheet. The next Horse Rider Awareness session is being held at RAF Valley on 28 February 2018, and places are limited. If you would like to attend, please email VAL-SptWgECO@mod.uk or call 01407 762241 ext 7314.

Horse Rider Awareness Text3 17

Editor: Sqn Ldr Dave Williams

Images: SAC Chris Thomspon-Watts, RAF Valley Media & Comms Flight

Crown Copyright images – may be used provided credit is assigned

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