Rider ‘shaken’ after being verbally abused while hacking

  • Police are seeking information after a rider was verbally abused while hacking along a bridleway.

    Katie Comer, from Exeter, was on her way back from a hack with her 11-year-old coloured Irish cob Inky on 15 June, when the incident happened.

    The pair were walking along a bridleway that borders a dog-walking field in Mincinglake Valley Park in Exeter at around 2pm.

    As they passed a gap in the hedge, the 22-year-old saw a big “wolf-type” dog.

    Katie said a man then appeared with another dog and began shouting at the dogs to move on.

    She said the man started swearing at her.

    Katie and Inky walked on but the dogs started chasing them.

    The man continued to shout abuse before throwing a dog lead towards the dogs and Inky.

    Luckily Inky kept calm and neither horse nor rider were injured.

    “She is very well behaved,” said Katie.

    “I was just shaken more than anything.”

    The rider reported the incident to Devon and Cornwall Police and said they have been “really helpful”.

    She has also been in contact with the British Horse Society about what happened.

    Katie told H&H: “I was upset at first and after a while I got a bit angry.

    “I have got a hat camera now.”

    Police are appealing for witnesses and anyone with information to contact them.

    The man is described as white, aged 20 to 30.

    He was wearing a yellow/tan boater type hat, shorts and a dark t-shirt.
    The dogs are described as a white Husky-type dog and the other is a wolf-type dog.

    This is the second incident in Devon this year. In February police issued a safety warning to riders after a woman was harassed out hacking in Honiton.

    Lucy Lee, 20, was riding at around 5.20pm when she came across a man sat in the middle of the road, who began shouting at her.

    Devon and Cornwall Police has since advised riders to take care when hacking alone.

    “You should always take standard safety precautions,” said police spokesman, Steve Grant.

    Make sure someone knows where you are going, your planned route and an approximate time you expect to return.”

    Call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 quoting crime reference number CR/041509/15 with information.

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