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Horses attacked by dogs at Jeskyns Park, Cobham, Gravesend


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Horses are being attacked by out-of-control dogs at a community woodland.

One rider said she is now petrified to go riding alone since the incidents at the park.

Joan and her friend, Jennie, were attacked twice

Joan Tinson, 59, from Woolwich regularly visits Jeskyns Park, near Cobham, with her 26-year-old horse Bally and since August has been attacked twice by dogs off leads.

The first incident this summer saw a dog hanging off the back of her horse's legs.

She said: "It frightened the life out of me. I cannot afford to come off my horse. It is not going to end well."

Joan stressed that if a horse is spooked then it can bolt and kick which would mean the rider loosing control and could cause a dog and others to be injured.

The data analyst added: "People are getting worse now. They have got no recall whatsoever. We stood still so have they had time to get their dog. If we had started going away from it it would have followed us."

Joan was out riding in the shared dog and horse areas of the park with her friend Jennie Banwell who was similarly attacked in the same incident.

From left: Joan Tinson and Jennie Banwell were attacked by dogs when on a horse ride. Picture: Joan Tinson
From left: Joan Tinson and Jennie Banwell were attacked by dogs when on a horse ride. Picture: Joan Tinson

Last Saturday there was another attack on their horses at 11am where a dog was running, jumping and barking at the steeds.

The owner had time to get their pet under control and on a lead.

Joan added: "I have just got my confidence back. I am absolutely petrified to go out alone. That is going to happen, someone is going to come off and it is going to be bad.

"I am dreading the next ride out there.

"I would rather go over the motorway bridge to Shorne Woods Country Park than go to Jeskyns on my own."

She suggested that the area should have rangers patrolling at its busiest times.

Joan Tinson and her horse Bally were attacked. Picture: Joan Tinson
Joan Tinson and her horse Bally were attacked. Picture: Joan Tinson

Denise Bird, park ranger, said the incidents have been happening in both 'on lead' and 'off lead' dog zones.

She added: "We are concerned about several reports we have had recently from horse riders visiting Jeskyns who say they have experienced dogs chasing and barking at their horses.

"Dogs must always be under close control otherwise they can be dangerous to horses, riders, and other visitors. There is, of course, also risk of serious injury to the dog itself.

"We take these reports seriously and are liaising closely with the horse riders that have contacted us.

"The horse riders have reported these incidents to the police and have shared all details (including video footage in some cases) with us.

"We will do all we can do to help the police with their enquiries and have asked for a meeting with them to explore how we could work together to improve the situation."

Jennie Banwell wand her horse Brogan. Picture: Joan Tinson
Jennie Banwell wand her horse Brogan. Picture: Joan Tinson

Joan also told of an incident that had happened to a group of her friends earlier in the week who were chased by a group of dogs.

They have reported all incidents to the police.

A spokesman said: "Kent Police has received two reports of dogs approaching horse riders in Jeskyns Park, Gravesend.

"On 9 October a single dog is said to have chased a rider and on 13 October riders are reported to have been approached by a group of dogs which were being walked by a single person.

"No injuries were sustained from either incident.

"Officers have liaised with the park ranger to share information and are also conducting ongoing enquiries to identify the owner of the dogs."

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