A successful working hunter pony, who had qualified for Ponies UK summer and winter championships on several occasions, was savaged and killed by three dogs last week.
The nine-year-old 13hh mare was being turned out near the owner’s home in Bury-St-Edmunds when a Rottweiler, a German Shepherd and a Boxer attacked, tearing the rug from the pony’s back.
The pony broke free from its young handler and jumped a strand of electric fencing, before being brought down by the dogs. The mare’s owner, Rebecca Wright, initially thought her pony was just winded and was horrified when she didn’t get up.
“I can only assume that the shock must have killed her, but I have never heard of anything like this happening ever before,” she told HHO.
The 13hh mare had been placed on every outing as a working hunter pony, as well as being hunted regularly by Ms Wright’s daughter, so she was used to hounds as well as her owner’s Jack Russells.
“The kennels came to take her away. They told me that she was bleeding between her back legs and had puncture wounds all over her. What upsets me most is that those dogs would have eaten her if we hadn’t stopped them.”
Margaret Linington-Payne of the BHS was appalled when she heard the news and pointed out that such an incident raised the need for awareness when dealing with animals.
“Horses and dogs usually get on well together, but obviously in this case, the pack instinct has taken over. Such a tragedy highlights the need for care and correct control of dogs, no matter how used they are to horses,” she says.