'My friend thought I was dead': Horse rider describes horror after being knocked unconscious in Esholt Woods near Leeds

A woman has described the terrifying moment she was knocked unconscious after her horse was spooked by a dog.

Wednesday, 14th April 2021, 5:08 pm
Updated Wednesday, 14th April 2021, 5:10 pm

She was riding with a friend along a bridleway in Esholt Woods, between Guiseley and Shipley, on Saturday at about 1.30pm.

The 55-year-old, who wishes to remain anonymous, said she saw a large dog bounding towards her, barking aggressively.

Her horse spun round and bolted, causing her to fall off and hit a tree. She was knocked unconscious.

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Esholt Woods, between Guiseley and Shipley, where the incident took place

The woman told the Yorkshire Evening Post: "I just saw the trees coming towards me and it knocked me out.

"I woke up to a cyclist asking if I was okay and my friend screaming, she thought I was dead.

"I was all shaken, I felt sick. I was so worried about where my horse had gone, but thankfully he was just a little way ahead eating grass."

Police are searching for the male owner of the dog after the woman reported that he became aggressive towards her as she lay injured.

The rider added: "When I got back to the stables I was sick and everything started to ache.

"I’m sore and hurt all over, I've scratched my face and was concussed. I was told to go for check up, but I was so physically traumatised that I just wanted to recover at home."

The incident is being investigated by Shipley Neighbourhood Policing Team.

Sergeant Terri Green said: "I am a horse rider myself and understand this woman’s concerns and also the effect this incident may have in the wider equestrian community.

“I have spoken to her and advised that this is a priority for the local team and arranged for statements to be taken from her and the friend she was with at the time.

“We understand there was also a cyclist who stopped to help and we would urge them to come forward, and anyone else who was in the area or anyone who believes they may know the identity of this male dog walker.”

The rider added: "I’m scared now, I daren’t get on my horse and ride up there on the public bridleway.

"We see a lot of dog walkers and most of them are very respectful, putting their dogs on leads or holding them. Dogs aren’t dangerous if they are on leads."

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to contact Shipley Neighbourhood Policing Team via 101 or by using 101 Live Chat on the West Yorkshire Police website. Quote log number 202104100983.