A woman ended up in hospital with horrific facial injuries after her horse fell into a pothole on a country road.
Sherrie Hopwood was left with nasty cuts to her lips, nose and forehead after the fall near Daisy Nook Country Park in Oldham, Greater Manchester.
The 57-year-old had taken her horse Jay for a ride around the Daisy Nook bridal path when it stepped into the pothole on Crime Lane, which was full of water.
Sherrie Hopwood was left with horrific facial injuries after her horse fell down a pothole during a ride
The 57-year-old had taken her horse, Jay, out for a ride earlier last month, when the accident happened
Businesswoman Sherrie said the horse’s knees gave way and it fell, sending her crashing face first into the ground.
Speaking about the incident, which happened on April 4, Sherrie said: ‘I was flat on my face, I tried shouting for help but there was no one around.
‘I managed to force myself up to get up.
‘I was very lucky because Jay didn’t panic. If she had, she could have killed me.’
Sherrie explained that Jay’s knees gave way after falling the pothole, cutting the horse’s knees and legs
Sherrie said of the incident: ‘I was flat on my face, I tried shouting for help but there was no one around’ (pictured: Jay the horse’s grazed nose)
Sherrie was later taken to hospital, while Jay suffered cuts to the knees and legs and was checked over by a vet.
Sherrie said: ‘It was raining and there were puddles everywhere. The road is disgraceful, it’s very uneven and full of potholes.
‘So many people use these routes for riding, there’s always horses around and it’s dangerous.
Sherrie said: ‘I was very lucky because Jay didn’t panic. If she had, she could have killed me’
‘I’ve been riding for more than 50 years and I know a lot about horses and riding.
‘I’ve never had an accident like this before. I didn’t expect to fall down a pothole but when they are covered in water you just don’t see them.
‘I could have easily been trampled on and killed. Something needs to be done, I don’t want anyone else to get hurt.’
Sherrie said Jay was now on ‘box rest’ and was waiting for the green light to ride again.
Oldham Council said officers have since inspected Crime Lanes, but did not say whether action would be taken.
Potholes on Crime Lane near Daisy Nook Country Park in Oldham, Greater Manchester
Executive director for economy, skills and neighbourhoods, Helen Lockwood, said: ‘We’re sorry to hear what happened to Sherrie and her horse and we wish them both well,’ she added.
‘Inspectors have visited the scene to assess the damage. Unfortunately, over recent months some of our roads have been left damaged due to the persistent cold and wet weather.
‘We look after more than 850km of roads, which is a huge task. We are also realistic though – potholes will appear and we are aware of this.
‘We have a fantastic team of trained, dedicated staff working on our roads using innovative machines, which are making repairs quicker and cheaper whilst causing less disruption to motorists.
A spokeswoman for the British Horse Society said: ‘It’s important to remember that riders don’t want to be riding on the roads. They are often using them to get to the bridleway network’
‘Oldham council recognises the importance of quality roads and in response has recently committed £6.2m towards improving our highways, and this is in addition to the work we do repairing potholes.’
A spokeswoman for the British Horse Society said: ‘It’s important to remember that riders don’t want to be riding on the roads. They are often using them to get to the bridleway network.
‘Riders need better-connected off-road paths so they can avoid the roads, but in 2026 many historic routes of use to horse riders and carriage drivers will be extinguished if they are not formally recorded.’