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Gloucestershire rider calls for '100-year-old' gate to be fixed after accident 'almost killed' him and his horse

General had to be sedated by the vet. Credit: Jacques de Wit

A horse rider from Gloucestershire is calling for better riding routes after a serious accident almost 'killed him and his animal'.

Jacques de Wit was riding his Spanish stallion General in Redmarley D'Abitot when the animal became trapped and fell to the floor with a metal gate post lodged against his stomach.

The 65-year-old said it happened when he attempted to ride with General through an old steel gate on a public bridleway.

He's now asking for the gate to be replaced with a more accessible one, so that horse-riding in the area is made safer and easier.

The 65-year-old has lived in the area for 29 years. Credit: Jacques de Wit

Describing what happened, Mr de Wit said his horse "reared up and jumped" when he got to the old gate.

Luckily the 65-year-old was able to free himself but said the situation could have been much worse had he fallen the other way.

General was stuck between the gate post and a sandstone bank, with his head completely stuck against the bank and a tree.

Mr de Wit said he was in a 'big panic' and couldn't use his phone.

He said, "I panicked and went to get help from a nearby house but nobody answered. Finally I was able to use my phone and dialled 999 - 23 minutes later three fire crews arrived."

A vet was forced to sedate the horse when they arrived to get the horse out of the spot it was lodged in.

It's a gate with a sliding bolt that is impossible to use on horseback. It only swings open one way, it is dangerous. It should at least be a gate that goes both ways... In my mind the gate doesn't serve a purpose, there is no need for it -there are no livestock. We need a horse friendly gate...

– Jacques de Wit
Fire crews had to use sliding boards to free General. Credit: Jacques de Wit

General is recovering well following the incident, according to his owner, but needs a break from walks until he makes a full recovery.

A spokesperson for Gloucestershire County Council said: "We are aware of the incident and have contacted the rider involved.

"We will be visiting the site to check the safety of the gate and to see if anything can be done to improve access for riders."