Advice has been issued to help keep walkers safe after a couple were left “terrified” when they were chased by horses in Wellingborough.
Christine Bradbury said she was walking along The Embankment in Wellingborough with her husband and crossing a small bridge when four horses came galloping towards them at “high speed”.
We thought the horses wouldn’t walk up the steps of the bridge, but then one of them got up the steps at a great speed.Christine Bradbury
She said: “The four horses came running towards us, so we stood our ground.
“We thought the horses wouldn’t walk up the steps of the bridge, but I picked up a small piece of wood just in case.
“Then one of them got up the steps at a great speed.
“I was absolutely terrified.
“The horse chased me over the bridge and there would not have been enough room for him to pass me without squashing me and doing serious injury,
“I reached the other side of the bridge and jumped to safety, while he galloped off into the distance.
“The incident let me visibly shaking.”
But the ordeal did not end there as Mrs Bradbury said the remaining three horses surrounded the couple on the bridge where they were stuck for “quite a while” before the horses suddenly ran off.
Concerned about the safety of other walkers using the Wellingborough Council-owned land on the Embankment, Mrs Bradbury said she shared the incident on a local Facebook page and was met with other similar stories.
She said: “I posted what had happened to us and many other people said they had a similar incident with these horses and were very worried.
“I also reported it to the council and they said they would contact the RSPCA to check if animal cruelty had been involved at all.
“But I am more concerned with the safety of humans as one day somebody may get seriously hurt.
“It is my own and many other people’s opinion that these horses are dangerous.”
The RSPCA has reminded walkers that dangerous incidents with farm animals in the countryside are very rare, but have issued safety advice for anyone who may be concerned.
A spokesman for the charity said: “Incidents of people being hurt by horses while walking in the countryside are few and far between.
“As with any natural environment there are certain risks and it is not possible to remove them all.
“Walkers are urged not to let the very low risk of being hurt by equines or livestock put them off enjoying the countryside.”
She shared official tips from the National Farmers’ Union and Ramblers’ Association about what to do in such an event.
- Try not to get between the animals
- Be prepared for equines or livestock to react to your presence, especially if you have a dog with you
- Move quickly and quietly, and if possible walk around the herd
- Keep your dog close and under effective control on a lead.