A rider suffered multiple bite wounds and had an asthma attack as she tried to get away from an out-of-control dog in a terrifying attack.
Freelance trainer Ashleigh Compton was returning from a hack with a client’s pony, Sparks, on 6 September at Dapwell Lane, near Queen Charlton, Somerset, when a collie-type brown and white dog appeared.
“The dog was circling around Sparks’ feet and in the distance I could hear a man shouting for it, but I couldn’t work out where he was. Sparks started to dance around and reared so I thought I would be better off on the ground and decided to get off,” she told H&H.
“Suddenly the dog went for me over and over again. It was biting at my arms and legs and there was nothing I could do but Sparks was so good and stayed with me. I decided to run leading Sparks and the dog chased us 100 yards, then as we turned a corner it ran off. I couldn’t see the owner but I assume he was in one of the fields either side of the lane. He must have heard what was happening – there’s no way he couldn’t know.”
Ashleigh suffered an asthma attack as she made her way back to the yard.
“I took my inhaler multiple times but I wasn’t getting any better and when I got to the yard I phoned for an ambulance,” said Ashleigh.
“There was nobody on the yard but a lady was walking on the footpath that runs alongside the yard and saw me so she waited with me until the ambulance arrived. She went to the end of the driveway to see if she could see it coming and came across a couple out for a walk who happened to be doctors so they came to help too.”
Ashleigh was treated at hospital for her asthma and seven bite marks; one on her arm and the rest on her leg, including one that had gone through her boot. She has since put an appeal on Facebook to try and find the dog’s owner.
“I had no idea my post would get the response it did, it’s been shared more than 1,000 times and I’ve had a lot of supportive messages. The main reason I want to find the owner is it is clearly a very unhappy dog, and had that been a child you don’t want to think about what might have happened. I’m a real dog lover and had dogs in the past but people need to have better recall and be aware that these animals are bred to chase things – and they do,” she said.
“I also want to raise awareness of the What3Words app. With my job I go all over the place and even though I know the area reasonably well I didn’t know the road names and the yard is quite out of the way, so trying to tell someone exactly where you are when you’re panicking is difficult. I couldn’t breathe very well and couldn’t describe how to get the ambulance to me. I’ve had the app on my phone for more than a year and never opened it until that moment. I think it’s really important for riders, walkers and cyclists to have it god forbid something happens and you’re trying to get help.”
Avon & Somerset Police is appealing for information about the dog attack, which took place at around 1.30pm.
“If you have any information which could help officers to identify the dog’s owner, please call 101 quoting reference 5221207041,” said a police spokesman.
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