Walk­ers warned to keep away from field

Horse at­tacks on walk­ers re­ported

Loughborough Echo - - FRONT PAGE - DAVID GODSALL david.godsall@reach­plc.com

RAM­BLERS are be­ing warned to avoid a pub­lic foot­path in Sileby fol­low­ing a spate of in­ci­dents in­volv­ing a horse al­legedly at­tack­ing peo­ple and dogs.

And in a strange twist, even the landowner is call­ing on peo­ple to avoid the area un­til the sit­u­a­tion is solved.

Rosie McSwiney was walk­ing a dog with her mother Mar­got along the foot­path that goes from White­gate es­tate agents to­wards the cricket club that runs along Mountsor­rel Lane when she says they were at­tacked by a horse in the field.

She said: “The horse was hap­pily graz­ing nowhere near us and we had the dog on the lead.

“There were cows in the field too so we de­cided to head back, we turned around to find the horse charg­ing at us.

“It knocked me and the dog to the floor about six times, head­but­ting me and kick­ing me as well as rear­ing up. Mum man­aged to get the horse off me and then it turned on her, kick­ing her to the floor, stood on her hand then con­tin­ued to bite her on the back of the arms.

“She man­aged to jump over a fence where the horse couldn’t get her and then luck­ily an­other dog walker man­aged to help us so she could safely get out of the field.

“It was an ab­so­lutely ter­ri­fy­ing ex­pe­ri­ence and the horse was so pow­er­ful it could have killed her!”

In an­other in­ci­dent the hus­band of a woman walk­ing her dog say she was also at­tacked.

He told the Echo: “My wife walked through the field with our dog, she couldn’t see the horse, then it charged at them and the dog got in­jured and needed stitches.

“It’s a pub­lic foot­path, lots of peo­ple take their dogs and there is a horse that’s at­tack­ing.

“Some­body is go­ing to get killed walk­ing through this field.”

A spokes­woman for the landowner, who did not wish to be named, said they had only re­cently been made aware of the in­ci­dents and also warned the pub­lic not to en­ter the field.

She ex­plained that the field was rented in­de­pen­dently by the horse’s owner, and the landown­ers were in the le­gal process of get­ting the horse re­moved, but it would take time, so in the mean­time they ad­vised peo­ple to avoid that part of the foot­path.

She said: “Peo­ple should avoid the path - it is a pub­lic foot­path but we don’t want any­body get­ting hurt.

“We are ac­tively try­ing to do some­thing.”

She added: “If it ac­tu­ally causes se­ri­ous in­juries or kills some­body, the po­lice are go­ing to be in­volved then. We don’t want that to hap­pen.”

A Le­ices­ter­shire County Coun­cil spokesper­son said: “We’re aware of con­cerns re­gard­ing the safety of a pub­lic foot­path run­ning through a farm in Sileby.

“We’ve vis­ited the site on a num­ber of oc­ca­sions and have writ­ten to the owner of the horse, ask­ing them to take ap­pro­pri­ate ac­tion.

“We al­ways ad­vise the pub­lic to keep to paths and not ap­proach live­stock while in a field.

“Any­one who en­coun­ters any live­stock that acts ag­gres­sively can re­port it to us by call­ing 0116 305 0001.”

A spokesper­son for Le­ices­ter­shire Po­lice said it was a civil is­sue, as there was no leg­is­la­tion they could en­force.

The woman, who says she was at­tacked by a horse in the field in Sileby, shows off her in­juries.

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