Two riders from a racing yard in Lincolnshire were almost shot last weekend as they exercised horses on the gallops.

Assistant trainer Stephen Petch and a stable lad from Michael Chapman’s yard in Willingham Road, Market Rasen were exercising the horses on Saturday (10 October) morning at about 10am.

They narrowly avoided shots being fired by people taking part in a shoot on Forestry Commission land in Willingam Woods.

“The noise scared the horses and they both bolted,” Mr Petch told local press. “I shouted and they stopped shooting but as the horses were bolting I couldn’t speak to them.

“The one with the stable lad on didn’t want to stop and it took a while to get it under control. I’ve never heard shooting in that area before in the time I’ve worked here and there were no signs up, but it could have been much worse than it was.”

A spokesman for the Forestry Commission told H&H they are continuing their investigation.

“We take these reports very seriously. We are trying to establish whether the incident occurred on our land,” he said.

“We do have one long standing shooting tenant using Willingham Woods and we are now contacting them to get their description of events.

“They are allowed to shoot in some parts of the wood, but not others and may only shoot over other land with the agreement of individual landowners.”