‘It was at his throat’: horse and rider chased into livery yard by dog on private lane

  • A rider who was chased by a “bully type” dog along a private lane and into her yard said owners need to be aware of the dangers of out-of-control dogs.

    Katie Brown was riding her Welsh section D Peter, who came second at Horse of the Year Show last year, and was supposed only to be walking as he is recovering from a tweaked ligament, near her livery yard on 7 February when the dog attacked.

    “Every time I close my eyes, I see it happen,” Katie told H&H. “It sounds over-dramatic but it terrified me – and it could have happened to a child.”

    Katie and a friend were hacking on the private lane, next to which is a public footpath.

    “People cut across to get to the footpath,” she said. “As we were walking up it, I felt my horse go ‘What’s that?’; I knew there was something there.

    “Then this dog came running up. I said ‘Grab him as my horse will kick’. You can read dogs, can’t you, and when they go low like that – I thought ‘This is going to have us’.

    “It came straight for me and was circling and nipping. It was up at his throat, my leg; I knew we had to go because standing still wasn’t helping.”

    Peter turned and went for home, the dog lunging at him, Katie said.

    “We got to the yard and there was concrete,” she added. “My feet were stuck in the stirrups and I thought if he fell, I wasn’t going to be able to kick them out. The dog was still coming.

    “I got into the yard and into my stable; the farmer and his wife were there and I was screaming for help. One of the broodmares had her head over the gate and the dog was trying to grab her face.”

    Katie said the owner appeared and caid the dog had “never done that before”.

    “It had absolutely no recall, why the hell was it off the lead?” she said.

    Katie described the dog as a bully type, with a “massive head”, and she estimated its height at over the 20 inches set out in the conformation standard set by the Government when the XL bully type was banned last year.

    She reported the issue, but “The police have been horrendous,” she said.

    “The attitude was that ‘It’s only a horse’; they’re not bothered. They were trying to persuade me not to go on with it but I want it dealt with. If it had been my mum on her 13hh pony or a child; I dread to think. It was on a private lane too, which he shouldn’t have been on.”

    Katie’s foot was bitten but she was otherwise unharmed, and she said Peter still seems sound, although he was sharp and nervous when she next hacked out.

    “If nothing comes of this, that’s the way it is but it’s about highlighting the danger; dog owners need to realise,” she said. “If I’d fallen, I could have come to serious harm; the dog was having some that day.”

    A spokesman for Cheshire Constabulary confirmed officers were called after the incident.

    “The caller reported they were riding a horse in a field when a dog ran towards them and started to attack them,” the spokesman told H&H. There were no reports of any injuries.

    “The breed of the dog has not yet been confirmed and enquiries are currently ongoing.”

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