‘The ground moved and everything went quiet’: pony falls on rider after ‘bomb’ goes off

A rider who was pinned under her fallen pony after the mare was spooked by an unexplained bang said she is lucky still to be alive.

Lesley Anderson from Exmouth was getting on a seven-year-old cob mare she had on loan on at 9.45am on 29 May at Aylesbeare Common when the loud noise spooked the pony.

Lesley told H&H: “I put a foot in the stirrup and then it sounded like a bomb went off. The pony reared up, fell on the ground and landed on my leg. It’s scary because she landed on the foot I had fractured several months ago.

“The whole thing was utterly shocking. We live in a quiet remote area – there’s a bird scarer that is used every summer but I’ve been going to the same place for 10 years and know where it is so I know it wasn’t that.”

Lesley said the noise was incredibly loud.

“The ground moved and then everything went quiet for a few seconds. My other horses in the field didn’t move and the birds stopped singing – it’s like the whole world said “what just happened?’” she said.

Lesley suffered brusing in the fall and the pony cut both her hocks and her mouth. Lesley reported the incident to the police, and has since been told by the landowner the noise was an unexploded bomb detonated by the Royal Navy.

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Lesley said she is upset, and that if this is true there should have been a warning.

“I could have been killed falling under a horse,” she said.

“To detonate a bomb in open countryside when there is riders and dog walkers I don’t understand why there wasn’t warnings. I live by the sea and two bombs have been detonated over the past few years but they’ve moved people away and given us warnings.”

H&H has approached the Royal Navy for comment.

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