Human Race have released the following statement regarding the incident which occurred at the Royal Windsor Triathlon on Sunday 17 June.
“We are aware of the incident that occurred during the 28th Royal Windsor Triathlon on the morning of Sunday 17 June. We are in direct contact with the horse rider who was involved, and we have offered our sincere apologies for the danger and upset that this incident caused.
“Our events are permitted by British Triathlon and therefore adhere to all industry guidance regarding event delivery. Competitors are further required to abide by the British Triathlon Competition Rules, applied by the Technical Officials in attendance. Alongside British Triathlon and its Officials, we are currently reviewing the evidence, and those found at fault of dangerous cycling or in breach of the rules will be disqualified from this event and banned from participating in any future Human Race events.
“Various measures were put in place to mitigate the chance of an incident of this nature, including the erection of advance warning signs about the event, the plans for which were drawn up by a professional traffic management company, this signage was put up along the route on Thursday 7 June. Additional cycle event signage was also installed a day in advance of the event to bolster awareness for all road users.
“We are reviewing all signage & communication plans as part of our internal review exercise following this incident. In addition, all participants in the event are informed in pre-event communications and event-day briefings to follow the Highway Code, and we do not condone dangerous cycling of any kind. We are assisting the local police with their enquiries, and we will be looking at ways that we can improve through this experience, including engaging more with horse riding communities in the local area.
“Human Race operate in this industry because of the positive impact it brings to individuals, charities and local communities. We work hard to deliver high quality and safe events, and it is saddening when the actions of a few individuals undermine an experience that is so positive for so many. We take our responsibility as an event organiser very seriously, and as such will be working with all relevant stakeholders to implement learnings from this experience. A spokesperson from British Triathlon said; “We are supporting Human Race events with the investigation of this incident and will look to take any action deemed necessary once we have all of the relevant information.”
“Why can you organise a Triathlon on open roads? We follow best practice as per guidelines from British Triathlon. Throughout the planning process we liaise with the local council’s highways department and with the relevant Safety Advisory Groups about the event and its routes. The bike course takes place on open roads so individual participants are required to always ride within the rules of the Highway Code, and act with due care and to ensure their own safety as well as that of all others also using the road.
” Were there warning signs about the event taking place for road users. There were signs up at all major junctions from 7 June, following consultation with a professional traffic management company. In addition, further cycle event warning signage was put in place at key locations across the course the day before the event. We understand in this case that the individual affected was not aware of the event taking part despite this. Human Race has initiated a review of the signage to see if this can be improved in the future. We are also assessing our communication plan and working on ways to communicate better with the local community including local stables and other horse owners where possible.
“Was the incident something to do with the last-minute route change? No, there was a late change required to the Olympic length course due to road works, however the route change meant that the participants used a road that was already signposted from 7 June for our sprint distance event.
“Are the riders being prosecuted/reported to the police? Human Race Events are currently reviewing the video footage to identify the individuals involved. Once it has been established who was at fault, we will be able to take further action. If any competitor is found guilty of causing this incident they will be disqualified and banned from all future events. We will also pass this information on to British Triathlon. Human Race Events will assist the police, by supplying them any information they require for their own investigation.
“What will you be doing to educate cyclists about horse riders? We currently inform all our participants before the race that they need to adhere to the Highway code in our event communication. We repeat this on event day in our briefings to each wave. In addition to this, moving forward at our briefings we will specifically highlight the need for riders to be aware of horses and the need to pass with due care. In the future we will be working with the individual affected to look at ways to work more closely with the local riding community, so they are aware of any events we hold.”