HORSE mad Claire Macmanomy fears she may never ride again after being the victim of an horrific road accident near Sedgley.

Claire was struck by a large skip lorry while riding through Gospel End Village in early February.

Although the lorry driver stopped initially to retrieve his wing mirror, he then drove off - leaving Claire and horse 'Red' with severe injuries.

Claire spent four weeks in Russells Hall Hospital after sustaining three broken vertebrae and severe bruising to her ribs and shoulder blade.

Although Claire is now back at her home in Gospel End Road, she now has to be supported with a back brace and is unable to wash, dress herself or get in and out of bed.

Claire, who is 41 and a civil servant, hasn't worked since the accident, which happened on February 7 as she was riding Red to Wood Farm to use their indoor arena.

Her friend Kay Hill-Sayce, who owns Red, was walking alongside when they approached a narrow stretch of the road known locally as 'The Rocks'.

Claire recalls: "We saw the lorry coming towards us very quickly and Kay used hand signals in an attempt to slow him down, but he kept coming.

"There was traffic travelling on the opposite side of the road, so there was no room for him to move over, resulting in him hitting us.

"Red was terrified and reared up, throwing me against the side of a rectangular sized skip, which knocked both of us to the floor.

"The driver slowed, causing his air brakes to go off, frightening the horse again and encouraging her to scrabble to her feet.

"I was still conscious, but dazed, but it alerted me to open my eyes, just in time to see the rear wheels of the lorry coming towards me and I instinctively shuffled my head and shoulders out of the way despite the dreadful pain.

"The lorry stopped a further 50 yards up the road and the driver came back to retrieve his mirror. He stayed for several minutes, but then left the scene without leaving any details.

"Two people in the traffic that built up behind ran over to us and called the emergency services as Kay suffered a panic attack. She is still traumatised by it now.

"Red suffered several lacerations and a puncture to her eye that required treatment but I'm now happy to say she has recovered.

"The police put up a sign near to the accident site asking for witnesses, but the driver still hasn't come forward.

"He's a coward, had no intention of stopping and I feel nothing but anger towards him.

"Horses are my life, but I fear I may never ride again. He's ruined that life."

Police are still appealing for witnesses to the incident which took place at around 2.50pm.

They are asked to contact Pc Lee Hardy at Staffordshire Police on 101 quoting incident number 458 of February 7.

Alternatively people can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.