MUM Lyndsey Taylor says her daughter is still too frightened to get back on her pony – six months after her pet was attacked by two vicious stray dogs.
Katie Hampton, 10 and pal Rio Hall, 11, were taking their ponies Tango and Tia for a trek in East Boldon on Wednesday, May 11 when the Staffordshire bull teriers ‘bounded towards them’.
The pair – accompanied by Katie’s mum, Lyndsey Taylor, and Rio’s aunt Shona Maclean, 17 – left the stables in Station Approach, East Boldon, and headed along a dirt track towards Tilesheds Crossing when they spotted two stray Staffordshire bull terriers running towards them.
The children had just managed to dismount their pets before the male and female dogs began their attack, tearing chunks out of the ponies’ legs and faces.
During the ordeal, the girls got trampled on by their ponies, and four-year-old Tango nearly got knocked down by a lorry after he bolted into a nearby road.
The terrified girls, both pupils at Biddick Hall Junior School in South Shields, then took shelter in bushes as Lyndsey and Shona tried to protect the ponies.
Tango’s owner Lyndsey said: “It is still traumatic to think about it. My daughter still can’t get back on her pony.
“The children are now terrified of dogs. When we are out walking, Katie will ask if we can go another route if she sees a dog.
“The dogs just bounded towards us. It was totally unprovoked. There was nothing we could do.
“We got the children off the ponies but we didn’t know what was the right thing to do as the dogs could’ve then attacked the children.
“Tango was lucky she was able to outrun the dogs and wasn’t too badly injured, but poor Tia got the brunt of it. We didn’t know she was heavily pregnant at the time.”
Shona MacLean added: “Tia was trembling, she couldn’t breathe, she was exhausted.
“We are more cautious now when we ride. You always have to be aware when you see dogs while you are out riding but I never thought anything like this would happen.
“Katie and Rio are now terrified of dogs.”