A rider sustained a fractured vertebra, and her friend was bruised, in a terrifying incident involving an out-of-control dog chasing their horses – causing them both to fall off.
Beryl Randall was riding her gelding Archie alongside her friend Janeen on Captain, on Esher Common, Surrey, on 12 October when a loose dog appeared.
“We were having a gentle trot and I think the dog must have come out of the woods from behind and began chasing Captain. I thought I heard shouting but I couldn’t see an owner,” Beryl told H&H.
“Archie and Captain took off. As I managed to check Archie, I looked down and could see a dark wire-haired dog going for his front leg and he took off again.”
Beryl said she and Janeen became separated in the woods and Janeen fell off after hitting a branch at speed.
“It’s miraculous the horses kept their footing as we had veered off the track and there were branches all over the floor as they were galloping through,” she said.
“I managed to stop Archie and fell off over his shoulder, but I couldn’t keep hold of the reins and he took off towards the A3.”
Beryl said Archie was eventually caught by some walkers before he reached the road.
“I’m so grateful to the people that caught Archie. I rang my yard manager Olivia who dropped everything to come and help and I went back to try and find Janeen. I found her with a leader of a group of Duke of Edinburgh students who had stopped to help and had called an ambulance,” she said.
“The horses were stressed and dripping with sweat but thankfully they weren’t injured. Olivia and I took them back to the yard and Janeen was taken to hospital.”
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The incident was captured on the rider’s body camera
‘They knew I had fallen. I shouted to them ‘I need help, I’m injured’ and they just walked off and
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Beryl escaped with bruising but Janeen sustained broken ribs and a fractured vertebra. The incident was reported to Surrey Police and Elmbridge Borough Council, which launched an appeal for information, but the dog’s owner has not come forward.
“I’m furious the dog owner didn’t bother to find out what happened to us, they must have known [their dog spooked our horses]. The council and police have been brilliant, but without information or the dog owner coming forward, they can’t do anything,” said Beryl.
“I had an incident with dogs in December, and I recently read about an incident at another common involving a rider being chased by a pack of dogs. There seems to be more people out walking since Covid, but they need to have their dogs under control – they should be kept on the lead if they don’t have reliable recall. Ninety-nine percent of dog owners are very good but it’s the ones who don’t realise what can happen, or that their dog could be seriously injured if they were kicked.”
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