‘It felt like a lifetime’: Teenage riders attacked by dog

  • The mother of a teenage girl who was subject to a dog attack while out riding says she wants to highlight how dangerous out-of-control pets can be.

    Katie Higgins (pictured) was riding with friend Amelia Palmer on the Wye Downs in Kent on 12 June when a Staffordshire bull terrier “appeared from nowhere”.

    The girls, both 15, were walking along a bridleway, wearing high-vis gear, when the attack took place.

    The dog went for Tinker, Katie’s 16hh dun mare, latching on to her nose.

    The rider shouted at the dog but as it did not let go, she dismounted and hit it with her whip.

    The dog then went for the other horse, 15hh chestnut mare Saffy, jumping on to its back. It bit Amelia the leg, and then went for her horse again.


    When it came back towards Tinker, Katie managed to grab the dog’s harness and threw it towards the owner, who caught it. Tinker needed veterinary treatment, while Katie was also taken to hospital for treatment to a dog bite.

    Mum Bindy Higgins said: “The attack went on for about two to three minutes which seemed like a lifetime for the girls.

    “Thank goodness my daughter took the stupid decision to pick up the dog as it was not going to stop.

    “I feel stories like this should be reported on to highlight the dangers of irresponsible dog owners who do not have their dogs under control or on leads. The outcome of this attack could have been much worse.”

    Dog Attack-1

    The female owner and male companion took the dog away, but other walkers came to the girls’ rescue, helping them ring their parents.

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    The attack has left two teenage girls “very traumatised,” Mrs Higgins told H&H.

    A spokesman for Kent Police said: “We are investigating an out of control dog which caused injury to two horses and a rider on a country lane in Wye at 11.16am on 12 June.”

    Officers are conducting enquiries but anyone with information is asked to call Kent Police on 101 quoting reference XY/19416/16

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