A woman has slammed a hunt after horses were terrified when a party of riders and hounds charged through a field. Linzie Winckless, 35, of Steeple, claims her horse, Bismarck, suffered a gaping wound to his face when 30 horses and 20 hounds charged across the adjacent field.
She said the Essex Farmers and Union Hunt party then returned and stopped metres from where the six horses had been grazing.
She claims another horse also cut its chin in the incident, which took place around 11.45am on Saturday in a field in the village.
“We had no idea the hunt was out on Saturday,” she said. “They came bombing through, shouting and sending our horses absolutely wild.
“Then I heard the sound of thundering hoofs and they came back through and congregated at the bottom of the gateway.”
She said vets believe Bismark cut his face after striking a wall or the hoof of another horse.
He is now on a course of antibiotics but is unable to be exercised while his wounds heal.
Ms Winckless said: “It’s quite an horrific injury but it can’t be stitched because there is no skin to stitch there.
“He is unrideable and totally depressed as he has to stay in his stable because he can’t get the wound dirty and he can’t eat properly.
“They don’t seem to care what they do to other people’s horses. To congregate in the field at the bottom where they could see the horses were distressed, I think is totally irresponsible.”
When told about the injuries, hunt master Anne Hull, of Maldon Road, Burnham-on-Crouch was apologetic.
She said the hunt changed its route at the last minute to avoid another farmer’s field where a horse was in foal.
“We were then limited with where we could go as a result of the changes,” she said.
“We have been on that route many times before and it is usually fine. The farmers were informed, but they may not have passed that on. However, we will make sure everyone is informed in future.”