Thursday, December 02, 2010

Woman's Christmas hat leads to injury by horse

A woman has told of her terror after a horse mistook her Christmas-themed hat for a bush and kicked her to the ground trying to eat it. Eileen Samme, of Cerne Abbas, required hospital treatment following the incident in a field believed to be owned by former Lord Lieutenant of Dorset Lord Digby. The 55-year-old said she had tried to ‘get into the spirit of Christmas’ but now regretted buying the novelty Christmas Pudding hat which had a sprig of felt holly on the top. Mrs Samme, who had only bought the hat the day before, said the hungry horse made its lunge for the imitation holly as she walked her jack russell Mickey.

She is now calling for safety notices to be put up in the field warning walkers about the horses’ ‘frisky’ behaviour. The cleaner had to take three days off work because of her injuries and said she was seeking legal advice and contemplating suing the owner of the animal. She said she spent nearly four hours in Dorset County Hospital’s A&E department after the incident took place in Beevor Field. Almost a week later, she still has a bruised, swollen leg and is suffering from pain where the horse kicked her.

Mrs Samme, of Acerman Street, said: “I have walked Mickey hundreds of times in that field and the horses have always been friendly. I came through the gate as usual and they just came running up to me and one of them was after my hat. He was trying to get the hat off with his mouth and all of a sudden it kicked me in my leg. I got kicked to the ground and I was on the floor scrambling for my hat. It was after the piece of holly on my hat – it must have thought it was a holly bush. I think it must have wanted to eat it.

“It could have broken my leg or my hip and all because I was trying to get into the spirit of Christmas. It’s not funny, I was terrified.” She added: “There’s no notices up warning people about these horses – they might look friendly but they are actually quite frisky. I’m a tough old bird but if it had happened to a person who was slighter in build or a child it could have broken something. It’s an accident waiting to happen.”

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