A rider is urging dog walkers to control their animals after her horse was attacked in Heath and Reach.
Eve Atkins was riding Spike near the little bridge in Rammamere Heath, opposite Stockgrove Park, at around 10.45am on Saturday, January 13, when it was attacked by a dog who was with its owner.
She had stopped to let the dog walkers pass when “out of nowhere” one of the dogs attacked Spike.
Eve said: “It was calm and under control, although not on a lead, when out of nowhere it attacked Spike. Thankfully my mother’s horse is an angel and barely reacted which gave the owners time to get the dog, but there was no apology. I hate to think what could have happened if it was one of our younger horses, the horse could have bucked and cause the other horse to react, it could have been a lot worse.”
Eve contacted Thames Valley Police and the Rangers at The Greensands Trust to report the incident. She wants The Greensands Trust to erect code of conduct signs around the park.
A spokesman for the Trust said: “We have been made aware of this unfortunate incident and are saddened to hear about it as we take all incidents involving the safety of our visitors extremely seriously. Rushmere Country Park is an important recreational space for a wide range of activities and we seek to accommodate them all as safely and harmoniously as possible. We provide information to support this approach to all users, including specific information for dog walkers, horse riders and cyclists, with guidelines on how to use the site, raising awareness of other user groups present and the need to be vigilant and considerate at all times.
“We ask any users who experience difficulties with others to report incidents to the rangers or to visitor centre staff so that such incidents can be recorded and action taken as necessary.”
Eve added: “Since discussing with other riders and residents it seems that this dog is known to be a problem, it concerns me that this dog is allowed to be walked unmuzzled and off the lead when it is clearly dangerous and unpredictable. The attack came out of nowhere, the damage was done in a split second.
“Spike is doing okay, he has a nasty cut and is on antibiotics. I want people to be on their guard and keep a look out when in Stockgrove/Rammamere/ Rushmere Park, I would hate for another horse, human or dog to be hurt.”
She added: “Sadly, we had another dog problem whilst riding on Wednesday, again on Rammamere Heath. This time a border collie took chase which resulted in the horse I was riding violently spooking and falling onto her side, with me underneath I have some severe bruising, damaged ribs and minor whiplash. This dog owner was yet again unapologetic and just said she didn’t see us, in our high viz gear!”
Thames Valley Police were unable to comment before the LBO went to press.