Jersey horse rider sees safety campaign go viral after posing nearly naked with her horse
Lauren de Gruchy stripped off for the Slow Down for my Horse movement
She has earned 15,000 followers from the campaign
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A JERSEY horse rider was so annoyed with the bare-faced cheek of motorists speeding past her on country lanes, she decided to launch a road safety campaign with a difference.
Former Beaulieu student Lauren de Gruchy has amassed a following of over 15,000 animal lovers after starting a Facebook crusade encouraging men and women to strip off and pose next to their horses.
The 19-year-old says she started the Slow Down for My Horse Campaign to encourage motorists to be vigilant when they approach horse riders on the road.
'It's all about trying to get drivers to slow down when they pass people on horses. If they saw a naked rider I bet they would slow down, so why not do that do it anyway?' she said.
So far, more than 100 pictures of men and women – either naked or in their underwear – have been uploaded onto the site. Miss de Gruchy says since she set up the page at the start of the month her campaign has exploded in popularity and riders from France and even America have shared their images.
However, aside from an image of herself with her horse Starlight, which she posted to get the drive started, no-one from Jersey has been brave enough to get involved yet. 'I think they're too scared', Miss de Gruchy said.
The St Saviour resident said because of the attitude of many drivers in Jersey she now tries to avoid riding on the roads because she believes it is unsafe.
'I haven't had any accidents myself but I have seen drivers come way too close and when they do I shout at them. It only takes a few seconds to slow down.
'I have seen people in the news and they have been thrown off their horses and they have passed away.
'My advice would be just to slow down and when you see a big enough space, move then. We try to pull over where we can but sometimes it's not easy. If you see a horse getting spooked, turn your engine off.'
Miss de Gruchy said she has been amazed with how her campaign has taken off but added that she has received some negative comments.
'My family think it's crazy. I got inspired to start this when I saw a photo of a woman walking naked next to a horse and I thought that would slow down drivers and then I made a picture of myself and went from there. It has got to the stage now where people are challenging their friends to post pictures,' said Miss de Gruchy, who added that not all drivers are inconsiderate to horse riders.
Perhaps the most famous naked horse rider of them all was Lady Godiva, an Anglo-Saxon woman famous for her legendary ride while nude through Coventry.
According to legend Godiva's husband, Leofric, Earl of Mercia, one of the most powerful kingdoms of Anglo-Saxon England, was exasperated by his wife's nagging over the heavy taxes in the region.
He declared he would cut the taxes if she rode naked through the crowded marketplace.
She duly obliged, after telling everyone in the town to stay in and lock their doors, and rode her horse with her hair covering all of her body except her legs.