A farmer has paid tribute to the horse who saved her life when it intervened as she was attacked by an enraged cow.

Fiona Boyd, 40, described how she had been trying to lead a distressed calf to a shed at the family farm in Chapmanton, near Castle Douglas in Kirkcudbrightshire, when its mother suddenly charged at her, knocking her to the ground. As she attempted to scramble to safety the cow again butted Mrs Boyd before falling on top of her.

She told The Scotsman: “I was absolutely terrified, and remember rolling up into a ball to protect my head from her hooves. I thought ‘this is it, I’m going to die’.”

According to The Scotsman, Mrs Boyd’s chestnut mare, Kerry, dashed to the rescue, kicking out at her bovine assailant until it moved away.

Mrs Boyd said: “I am in no doubt Kerry saved me. If she hadn’t been grazing in the same pasture, I really believe I would have been killed. Kerry was fantastic. She saved my life.”

The mother of two was taken to a hospital where she was treated for severe bruising and cuts, but released later that day.

She told The Scotsman: “Cows are normally placid animals, but during calving they become very protective. I shouldn’t have tried to move the calf on my own.”

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