A HORSE owner and rider are warning owners to keep their dogs on leads in public places after they experienced a “horrific” attack.

On Wednesday, January 25, Heather Evans was filming her friend Lily Compton while she was riding Heather’s horse, Harvey, on Leasowe Bay.

While Heather was filming she noticed a white Staffordshire bull terrier running towards Lily and Harvey.

Heather told the Globe: “As they were riding back towards me I could see this dog running towards them and start chasing them down the beach.

“Lily stopped to let the man catch the dog but he couldn’t get control of it and it started to bite Harvey and jump up at him.

“I had previously said to Lily if a dog starts chasing you then to just go because they can never keep up with horses.”

Despite Lily galloping off, the dog persisted in chasing and attacking Harvey.

Lily said: “When the dog initially came over I thought it was fine because I knew Harvey was fine with dogs but when it started biting him I thought, ‘oh god something bad is going to happen here’.

“The dog was keeping up and I thought, ‘I’m going to have to do something before I get thrown off’."

Lily was forced to dismount from Harvey after the dog began jumping on his back and biting him.

Wirral Globe: The white Staffordshire bull terrier could be seen clinging onto to Harvey's tailThe white Staffordshire bull terrier could be seen clinging onto to Harvey's tail (Image: Newsquest)

“The dog was relentless I just wanted it to go away. I had never experienced anything like it before. It was terrifying,” she added.

Heather, who continued to record the incident on her phone, said: “The dog was trying to jump on his back like a predator would do to pray in the wild. He was swung around at one point because he was holding onto Harvey's tail.

“The owner kept shouting at the dog, but it was just completely ignoring him.”

Harvey then reared and bolted over the sandhills while the dog continued to chase after him.

Heather said: “It was too much for him at that point. He is so well-behaved and would never kick out. If it was any other horse the dog would have been killed.

“It was nine minutes of absolute hell. It was horrific.”

Wirral Globe: Lily Compton was forced to dismount from Harvey after the dog began biting himLily Compton was forced to dismount from Harvey after the dog began biting him (Image: Newsquest)

Heather and Lily began chasing after Harvey and they found him with a member of the public.

Heather said: “A lovely man had got off his bike and got hold of his reins and had kept him safe. I could see how upset and anxious Harvey was.”

Lily added: “I was so worried that something bad was going to happen to him. I think if Heather wasn’t there to witness what happened it could have been so much worse.”

Since the incident, Heather and Lily hope to raise awareness among dog owners about how dogs can react to horses.

Heather said: “I wasn’t concerned at first because dogs chase us all the time but nothing like this has ever happened before.

“The owner had no control over his dog and it obviously hadn’t been properly trained. I would class it as a dangerous dog in a public place.

“We’re very lucky that no one was seriously injured but this could have been prevented if the owner had just put his dog on a lead. We all have to share the beach and I don’t want to ever go through that again.”

Lily added: “It takes two seconds to grab your dog and put it on a lead while letting a horse go past. No one really knows how their dog is going to react to it's better to be safe than sorry.

“I also think people need to realise communal places like the beaches are there for everyone including horses. I think there's this stigma sometimes where horses are treated so much more differently to dogs.”

A spokesperson for Merseyside Police told the Globe: “We can confirm that officers are investigating a dangerous dog incident in Wirral.

“At around 10.15am on Wednesday 25 January, a white Staffordshire bull terrier off its lead reportedly chased a horse on the beach at Leasowe Bay.

"The dog barked aggressively, and reportedly made attempts to bite the horse, who was left distressed.

“The incident was reported to police the following day, and footage has been provided, although this has not resulted in identifying the owner.

“We remind dog owners to behave responsibly at all times, and ensure their animal is not out of control or causing distress to other animals and users of the beach.

"If you have any information on this incident, contact @MerPolCC with reference 23000076506.”