Offence of “riding furiously” admitted in rare case

© Al Crook
© Al Crook

A woman in Britain has admitted a rare charge of riding furiously – an offence that dates back 167 years in the country’s legislation.

The offence is outlined in the Town Police Clauses Act of 1847.

The website GetSurrey reports that Elizabeth Millard, 65, of Blackwater, admitted the offence when she appeared in Guildford Magistrates’ Court on February 4.

Millard was given a conditional discharge. She was ordered to pay £85 court costs and a further £15 victim surcharge.

Jill Beale, prosecuting, told the court of  two September incidents, one in which Millard rode at great speed past a witness and her daughter. Millard was shouting at her horse. The incident almost unseated the girl.

Another incident involved Millard pushing past another rider  on a narrow path. She did not stop or slow down, Beale said.

Fiona Taylor, for Millard, said her client had never been in court before and it was mortifying for her.

A Facebook campaign was set up against her and a police officer told her in November not to go on the local common because they could not guarantee her safety, Taylor told the court.

Taylor said Millard had been up to 75 yards away in the first instance, but accepted she had shouted at her horse, which could have startled the witness’s daughter.

The second incident resulted from Millard arriving at the same point on a pathway at the same time as two other riders.

The sentencing judge said she hoped Millard would now ride peacefully following the unfortunate incidents.

The offence of riding furiously was once on New Zealand’s statutes, contained within the Police Offences Act of 1928.  It remained in force until a new act was passed in 1981.

The old New Zealand act also made it illegal to fly a kite, beat a rug in public, and wear slippers in a public place by night.  It was also an offence to allow a mare to be mated within site of a public road.

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One thought on “Offence of “riding furiously” admitted in rare case

  • February 14, 2014 at 3:25 am

    What about wearing a loud shirt in a built-up area ? Was that on the statute books also ? 🙂


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