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Loose cows cause hacking mayhem

A horse spooked by loose cattle running through the village of Minchinhampton, in Stroud, has had a lucky escape after it bolted and tripped, falling head-first through a ground floor window.

Denise Horlick, 43, from Briscombe in Gloucestershire, was returning home from a hack with riding companion Leslie Jacob on Sunday morning, when the accident happened.

“We were on our way back from a lovely ride when, out of nowhere, these two young cows appeared round the corner and charged straight at us,” explains Denise.

Startled by the sight of the cows, Jimbo, a 17-year-old Thoroughbred gelding panicked and bolted. “Jimbo just lost it,” explains Denise. “Normally he is really laid back but I just don’t think he could cope with cows outside their normal environment.”

Trying desperately to get away, Jimbo tripped up the kerb, throwing Denise off before falling headfirst through the glass window of a terraced horse.

“All I could think about was not letting go of him. Just up the road is a cattle grid and I was terrified he would gallop off and fall through it.”

Denise managed to keep hold of Jimbo, extract him from all the broken glass and lead the shocked gelding back home.

“He was covered in blood and so was I. Initially, the vet thought he had just split his upper and lower gums but when she couldn’t get the gag in we realised he had broken his jaw.”

Jimbo was immediately taken to a veterinary clinic where vets operated to repair his jaw. After being kept in overnight, he was released the following day.

“His jaw is all wired up and you can hear it click occasionally, but he is eating normally and, providing he makes a good recovery, the framework should be removed in three weeks’ time,” says Denise.

“The owner of the house whose window we smashed was really nice — he was more worried about us. However, we have paid to have the window replaced instead of waiting for the insurance company to settle!”

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