Calls for change in law after dogs chase mare and foal

A stud is calling for a change in law after a heavily pregnant mare, and a mare with her two-week-old foal were chased by an out-of-control dog.

Becca Cameron, youngstock manager at Ormiston Highlands in Kingussie, Scotland, discovered pregnant mare Gordina and mare and foal Jura and Norman being chased by a husky on 25 June.

“I heard the pounding of hooves and saw the dog chasing them. The owner was nowhere to be seen,” Becca told H&H.

“I shouted at the dog, but it wouldn’t come over to me so I had to chase it away. It’s not the first incident we’ve had with the husky, it has been caught chasing our stallions and on another occasion chased a Shetland pony and a child fell off. We’ve reported the owner before and spoken to him, but he says things like we must have been mistaken and that it wasn’t his dog.”

The next day Norman was found stuck in a fence after what Becca believes was a second incident involving different dogs.

“I saw a man with two collies off the lead on the pathway that runs through the field. Norman and Jura were together, I went away for five minutes and by the time I got back Norman had gone through the fence and the man was at the other side of the field with his dogs,” said Becca.

“Norman was squealing and his leg was stuck – he could have broken it. If I hadn’t been there we could have had a dead foal, it was awful.”

Norman suffered cuts and scratches and had to be cut free from the fence.

“The fence is five plain wires, he couldn’t have just gone underneath it – he’s been forced through,” said Becca. “A lot of dog walkers use the pathway and we have 20 different signs around asking for dogs to be kept on leads and warning there is mare and foals. Some dog owners just don’t think anything will happen.

“There are really good dog owners around that put their dogs on leads, but then there are people who think it doesn’t matter if their dog is off the lead chasing horses. Even if they are the best behaved dogs they should be on a lead around horses and livestock – you don’t know what they might do if they decide to chase an animal. It’s unbelievable people can’t learn.”



Becca, who reported the first incident to the police, said she would like to see stronger enforcement on dog incidents.

“We need a law that forces people to put their dogs on leads. I am expecting another incident to happen – people can do what they want and we can’t stop them. We’re happy for people to walk their dogs here because they have done for years, but we just want them on leads.”

A spokesman for Police Scotland said officers attended the incident on 25 June and provided advice to those involved.

For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.