A HORSE rider has spoken of the terrifying moment she and her horse were attacked by a snarling dog which ‘wanted blood’.

Sophie Parkins and horse Lexi were both bitten and suffered deep puncture wounds during the sustained attack in the Old Hills at Callow End, near Worcester, at around 6.30pm on Friday, August 27.

The 24-year-old of Callow End cannot walk without pain and had to attend Malvern Community Hospital for treatment for two bite wounds.

She has been prescribed antibiotics and patches and bandages now cover the wounds to her right foot and left leg.

The horse groomer has also been unable to work for the last few days because of the injuries.

Miss Parkins, who started riding aged seven, feels the encounter could have had tragic consequences with a less experienced rider or a different horse.

“It (the incident) was probably one of the scariest times I’ve had on a horse,” she said. “I was cantering when I saw a dog coming towards me with a lunge line attached.

“I’ve had many dogs chase me, so I slowed Lexi down, only to see the dog trying to bite Lexi’s legs so I sent her forward and back towards the owners who were attempting to call it back.

“To my absolute shock I felt a huge pain in my foot.

“The dog had grabbed hold of my foot mid-canter, so I shook it off, taking my shoe with it, only for it to come round the other side and bite my leg and rip off my other shoe off.

“Still cantering Lexi around, I told the owners to stand on the lead to try and stop the dog.

“It was now a full blown attack.After around five minutes of both me and Lexi cantering around being bitten they managed to stand on the lead rein which, luckily for me, was a long one.”

She took details from the owners, a couple in their 60s, and said the dog was a tan bulldog-cross breed.

Miss Parkins said: “Lexi came away very tired and shocked with a few bite wounds.

“I cannot be more thankful that I was on Lexi not another horse. Not many horses would stand a dog biting them. She really is one in million.

“I cannot begin to think what would have happened to a child on a small pony if they came off. I truly believe there would have been a death, as the dog just wanted blood.

“So I warn dog owners and horse owners, muzzle your dogs, and horse owners have a plan in action if that was to happen to you.”

“It just shouldn’t take a tragedy not worth thinking about to get this noticed, and for something to be done.”

She is urging Malvern Hills Conservators, which owns the land, to put up more signs warning dog owners to keep their pet under control.

Duncan Bridges, director of the Malvern Hills Conservators, said: “Any person with a dog on the hills and commons must be aware they may encounter not only pedestrians but horse riders and stock and to keep their animal under control.”

He urged Miss Parkins to write to him personally and said signage would be considered for the Old Hills once he had looked into the matter in more detail.

Miss Parkins has reported the attack to the police.

Anyone with information should call West Mercia Police on 101, quoting incident number 323s270816.