A horse and its rider are thought to have been dragged along the road after the animal’s bridle snagged in the wing mirror of a passing double-decker bus – leaving the rider with head injuries.
The horse is thought to have been in a collision with the bus before the bridle became lodged in the mirror – before the animal fell and brought down the woman riding it.
Paramedics treated the woman at the scene while the horse has since been checked over and found to have escaped serious injury.
Two other horse riders are understood to have been present at the scene but not involved in the collision.
Police and bus operator Stagecpach are now investigating the incident which happened on the A3052 in East Devon on Easter Sunday.
Officers are understood to be speaking to the injured woman and the bus operator in connection with the incident near Aylesbeare.
The woman is not thought to have been seriously injured but suffered some wounds to the head.
Police said that the horse had since been checked by vets and had been found to be in good health and returned safe to its paddock.
A Stagecoach spokesman said: “We can confirm we are assisting police with their inquiries into an alleged incident involving one of our buses over the Bank Holiday weekend,” adding: “Safety is our absolute priority and we have also instigated an internal investigation into the incident.”
Sunday’s incident comes in the week The British Horse Society (BHS) launched a campaign to encourage more safety on the roads around horses and their riders.
In the five years since the launch of the BHS horse accidents website, more than 2,000 reports of road incidents involving horses have been reported to the charity.
Of these, 36 caused rider deaths, and 181 resulted in a horse dying from their injuries or being put to sleep.
Kevin Clinton, Head of Road Safety at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, said: “Horses are large, powerful animals and they can easily panic and bolt if startled. This is dangerous for the horse, the rider and other road users.
“All drivers should be aware that they may come across horse riders at any time, especially in rural areas.”
Mr Clinton also gave general advice for all motorists approaching horses, saying: “If you see one, slow right down as you approach and pass it slowly and smoothly, without revving your engine or sounding your horn. If there’s not room to pass it safely, wait until there is.”