Surrey police are investigating an incident after a Staffordshire bull terrier attacked a horse on Epsom Downs on Saturday 12th March.

The incident happened at 3.15pm while Sophie Harwin was riding Zoe Brooks’ horse Dancer through the park.

The Staffordshire bull terrier-type dog ran towards the horse and started to circle and bark at him, then started to to “jump on all fours, biting Dancer”, Sophie told H&H.

The attack lasted ten minutes and the horse was left trembling and injured with five puncture wounds to the chest, foreleg elbow and hindquarters.

After seeking veterinary advice Zoe was advised to monitor the situation and keep the horse on bute but as his vaccinations were up to date he should be ok.

Passer by Martin Hill, 51, from Twickenham described the incident as frightening, he explained how he “couldn’t see the dog ever giving up”.

While assisting the rider and trying to calm the horse Mr Hill was bitten on the upper arm.

The dog’s owner was present at the time, Ms Harwin felt “the owner clearly didn’t care, he didn’t even apologise”.

Mr Hill said the owner spoke only to say “He hasn’t done this before”, he then proceeded to get into his car and “speed off”.

For more up to date news, see the current issue of Horse & Hound (17 March, 2011)