Horror ‘pitbull’ attack on Woodbury Common

A TERRIFIED woman was badly hurt when a crazed dog savaged the horse she was riding in a horror attack on Woodbury Common.

Sue Wallis, 50, suffered a collapsed lung after she was thrown from the mare as a vicious “pitbull”-type pet repeatedly lunged at its throat, legs and torso in a frenzied five-minute ordeal.

The 21-year-old ex-hunt horse, named Tina, suffered six gruesome bite wounds to her body and needed scores of stitches.

“It was horrific and terrifying,” Sue told the Journal.

“The dog looked quite harmless, then it launched into a frenzied attack. It never barked or growled and didn’t make a noise.

“I tried to hit it with my whip. The horse was leaping around trying to get away.”

Sue, from Millmoore Lane, Newton Poppleford, was out riding with friend John Parker and her two Golden Retrievers.

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She was thrown from distressed Tina as the horse bolted across the common in a desperate bid to escape. The dog followed in hot pursuit.

The incident took place on an area of common between Four Firs and Yettington, at around 4.15pm.

Tina is trained not to kick out at dogs.

John, 68, from Aylesbeare, said: “There was no sign the dog was going to attack, then it just leapt at the horse.

“If it had attacked a human in the same way I don’t know what would have stopped it. If that had been a child or adult someone would have been killed.”

He said the dog’s owner was around 150 yards away when it attacked.

Sue only realised the extent of her injuries on Friday morning when she went to Sidmouth Hospital.

X-rays revealed a collapsed lung and she was rushed to an accident and emergency department in Exeter.

Sue had to go back to hospital at 4am on Saturday after suffering breathing difficulties and spent 12 hours there.

She has been recovering at home, but won’t be fully fit for another three weeks.

Sue warned other walkers and riders: “There is a dangerous animal on the loose.”

The “pitbull”-type dog was grey or black with a white blaze on its face and belly and had a red collar. It’s owner was described as around 30, with dark hair, and was wearing a high visibility jacket and dark jogging bottoms. He allegedly “vanished” in pursuit of the dog.

? Anyone with information can contact police on 08452 777444. Log number: 594/06/01.