A WOMAN fell off her horse which bolted to the main road at Cosmeston Lakes park after an alleged dog attack.

Sian Zakaria regularly rides “popular” horse Patch around Cosmeston Lakes County park, however on January 17, things took a turn for the worse.

Ms Zakaria claims a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, which was off the lead, ran up to Patch which made the horse bolt.

Ms Zakaria says she landed on her back and was lying on the floor for a couple of minutes before the owner of the dog came up to her apologising then went chasing after her dog which was subsequently chasing Patch onto Lavernock Road.

Patch was eventually recovered on the road.

South Wales Police say enquiries about the incident are on-going after reports of a “dog biting a horse”.

Ms Zakaria claims the owner of the dog gave a false name and address to the police.

“I was going at a slow pace wearing a high vis vest," said Ms Zakaria, "then, all of a sudden a Staffordshire Bull Terrier came out the side lane. I went to turn Patch away, but he reared up and I fell off.

“The owner came to me with crocodile tears then said I have to catch the dog.

“Patch galloped to the main road.”

Ms Zacharia, who lives in Cardiff, says she suffered soft tissue injuries having had to go to hospital.

Fourteen-year-old Patch, who is cared for at a local farm, is said to be traumatised by the incident and Ms Zacharia thinks he will never be able to go near dogs again.

On the incident, she said: “It was terrifying. If the dog had not chased the horse it would have gone for me and once they want to go for you they never let go.”

Penarth Times: Ms Zakaria's horse bolted to Lavernock Road after a dog is said to have chased itMs Zakaria's horse bolted to Lavernock Road after a dog is said to have chased it (Image: Sian Zakaria)

Penarth Times: Tranquil Cosmeston Lakes not so tranquilTranquil Cosmeston Lakes not so tranquil (Image: Google Maps)

Ms Zacharia, who has been riding since she was 11, and is now 63, says she thinks she will never ride at Cosmeston Lakes again.

“It happens all the time in Cosmeston,” said Ms Zacharia. “There’s a bridle path there, but the council has tarmacked it making it easier for scooters and the like.”

Police have confirmed they received reports of a “dog biting a horse” and they are investigating the incident.

A spokesperson said: “On Wednesday, January 17, South Wales Police received a report that a dog had bitten a horse in Cosmeston Lakes Country Park causing the rider to fall off.

“The breed of dog has not yet been confirmed and enquiries are on-going.”

Banned dogs and XL Bully dogs in England and Wales: UK Government advice

New restrictions for XLBully owners were introduced in December.

Banned dogs in the UK include Pit Bull Terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino and Fila Brasileiro.

From December 31, 2023, it will also be against the law to sell an XL Bully dog, abandon an XL Bully dog or let it stray, give away an XL Bully dog, breed from an XL Bully dog and have an XL Bully dog in public without a lead and muzzle. 

Penarth Times: Patch was said to have been left traumatised by the incidentPatch was said to have been left traumatised by the incident (Image: Sian Zakaria)

For Ms Zacharia, she issued a strong warning to users of Cosmeston Lakes park.

“It’ll happen again,” said Ms Zacharia. “I don’t think I will ride at Cosmeston again, but it will happen again. This was absolutely something else.”

Have you had issues with uncontrolled dogs at one of the Vale’s most popular parks Cosmeston Lakes? Have you had issues at other parks in the Vale? Let us know, emailing harry.jamshidian@newsquest.co.uk.