A FARMER has told how she was saved by her horse after it fought off a raging cow that was attacking her.
Fiona Boyd, 40, feared she was going to be crushed to death by the half-tonne cow after it kicked her to the ground, then rolled on top of her.
She had been about to guide the normally placid animal and its calf towards a shed when the cow suddenly attacked.
She believes she survived only because her horse, Kerry, raced to the rescue and kicked the cow until it moved off her.
Yesterday, Mrs Boyd said: "I am in no doubt Kerry saved me. If she hadn't been grazing in the same pasture, I really believe I would have been killed. Kerry was fantastic. She saved my life."
The drama unfolded as Mrs Boyd, a mother of two, was alone at home on her family farm at Chapmanton, near Castle Douglas, Kirkcudbrightshire.
She had been cooking tea in the farmhouse when she heard the cries of a young calf in distress. When she went outside, she saw the calf had become separated from its mother and could not find her among the other cows in the herd.
She decided to move the calf and its mother into a shed together, but as she approached the calf, its mother finally heard its distressed cries and charged at Mrs Boyd, knocking her to the ground.
As she tried to get to her feet, the cow butted her and shouldered her again to the ground, before dropping its full weight on top of her.
Winded and in great pain, she rolled up into a ball - fearing she was about to be killed. As she scrambled for cover, she saw her 15-year-old chestnut mare kicking wildly at the cow. As the horse hit out at the cow, Mrs Boyd managed to crawl 20ft to safety under an electric fence.
I was absolutely terrified, and remember rolling up into a ball to protect my head from her hooves.
"I knew I had to get away from her or she was going to kill me, and as I tried to get up, the cow just fell right on top of me. I thought to myself 'this is it, I'm going to die'."
Despite her ordeal Mrs Boyd escaped serious injury.
She alerted her husband, Matt, 44, who had been working with their two teenage sons at another field, and they took her to hospital. She was released after being treated for severe bruising and cuts.
She said: "Cows are normally placid animals, but during calving they become very protective. I shouldn't have tried to move the calf through the herd on my own, and I certainly won't be doing it again."
Jimmy More, of the Galloway Veterinary Group said he had never before heard of a horse doing anything like it. He said: "I've heard of dogs coming to the rescue of their owners, but never a horse."