Palacerigg Country Park: Four riders thrown from their horses after a dog ‘spooks’ the animals

Four riders were thrown from their horses after a dog which was not on a lead spooked the animals on Saturday morning in Palacerigg Country Park, Cumbernauld.

Four riders were thrown from their horses after a dog which was not on a lead spooked the animals on Saturday morning in Palacerigg Country Park.

Dawn Harrison, the owner of Tannoch Stables – a horse riding school located on the edge of Palacerigg Country Park – told the Scotsman that one of her staff was out on a trek with three members of the public when a dog that was off its lead spooked them at around 10.30am on Saturday, April 24.

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All four riders were thrown off as a result, with Police Scotland confirming that three were taken to hospital for treatment.

Ms Harrison said: “They were coming towards the end of their trek in the country park when they met a lady who had her dog off its lead, she tried to get the dog back on its lead but didn’t manage so then it ran off towards the horses barking.

"The horses got spooked which caused all four riders to fall off and then the horses galloped off, three up one main road and one up another.

“A paramedic came and we managed to treat the worst of the staff members’ injuries and get her into the back of a first-aid van.

"Then we had about seven ambulances in the car park of the country park who tended to the other casualties”.

The incident took place at around 10.30am on Saturday, April 24, in Palacerigg Country Park.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Around 2.50pm on Saturday, April 24, 2021, police received a report that four horses had been spooked after seeing a dog in Palacerigg Country Park.

"Three women, who were riding the horses, were taken to hospital with minor injuries and were later discharged.

"No criminality was established and suitable advice was given.”

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Eddie is one of the horses from Talloch Stables that was spooked by the dog on Saturday, April 24.

Ms Harrison said that sign posts warning dog owners to be cautious while walking in Palacerigg Country Park were recently removed and is calling for North Lanarkshire Council to reverse the decision to get the issue under control.

She said that this is the fourth time this year that animal worrying, similar to this incident, had been reported in Palacerigg Country Park.

She continued: “We’re just trying to say to dog owners that we should all be able to use the park safely; whether you’re a cyclist, a horse rider or a walker.

"Dog owners need to start taking more responsibility again, this is the fourth time this has happened this year and although the others were only superficial, we feel like we’ve had our warning now and that we need to get people to start paying more attention to their actions.

"The incident resulting in the horses running off down the main road between Palacerigg Country Park and Cumbernauld as well is so dangerous, it could have ended horrendously.”

A spokesperson for North Lanarkshire Council said: “We expect all responsible dog owners to ensure their animals are kept under control at all times when visiting our country parks.

“We have major investment plans for our country parks and new signage will be included as part of any developments.”

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