One horse has been left with an open wound and another “traumatised” after they were chased by a dog on Camber Sands.
Frances Beach had taken her 19-year-old daughter Eileen and her horse May Tham Little Mill (Maggy) to Camber Sands on 31 December.
Eileen and her friend were riding on the beach at about 10.30am when they spotted a dog “straining at the lead”.
“The dog was looking at the horses and getting quite excited,” Frances told H&H.
“The man bent down and let the dog off the lead and it immediately set off after Maggy.
“She was bucking and kicking and my daughter nearly came off.
“Eileen decided the best thing to do was keep galloping, but the dog kept going with her.”
Eileen galloped roughly a mile from Frances, who was on foot, then turned and came back.
“The dog was still chasing her,” said Francis. “He was trying to bite Maggy’s belly.”
Eventually Eileen was able to reach her mother and the dog ran off.
The riders returned to the lorry park and Francis phoned the police.
“While we were by the box, unbeknown to us the dog latched on to someone else’s horse and ripped its neck open,” said Francis.
“The horse, which happened to be a friend’s, needed the vet and antibiotics.
“What if that dog had attacked a child on a pony? It doesn’t bear thinking about.”
Initially, Maggy (pictured above and top), a seven-year-old eventer , was thought to be uninjured apart from the trauma of the chase.
However later on a lump was found on her leg, which Frances believes to have been caused by the incident.
“She was quite tramatised,” added Francis. “She’s not going to want dogs around her any more.”
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A spokesman for Sussex Police said: “A number of horses were being exercised on the beach when a black-and-white English bull terrier chased and jumped up at two of the animals.
“It then focused its attention on two other horses, jumping up and trying to bite both horses and riders.
“A grey horse was bitten on its right shoulder, resulting in a wound that required veterinary treatment.
“The owner of the dog has been located and is helping officers with their investigation.”
Anyone with information about the incident or those involved is asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 101 quoting serial 426 of 31/12.