A hunt has apologised after its hounds ran out of control and attacked an elderly couple and their dog on a beach.
Witnesses reported the hunt dogs bounding across the sands and chasing a greyhound which was being walked by its owners.
They say the elderly owner then scooped up his dog before the hounds charged him, allegedly biting him on the arm.
The flashpoint is believed to have been sparked when riders were washing off their horses in the sea and one got spooked and kicked a hound.
Now the Cury Hunt, based on the Lizard, has come forward to confirm its hounds were responsible for the incident on Saturday at Church Cove,
Gunwalloe, near Helston, Cornwall, and said it “very much regrets” it.
A spokesperson said: “The Cury Hunt was trail hunting within the law in the Gunwalloe area.
“At the end of the day some of the riders went down to the beach to wash their horses off in the sea.
“Unfortunately, while paddling with the horses, one horse spooked, careered through the others and kicked a hound.
“This hound then ran across the beach with some of the others across the path of a dog. An altercation then took place. After a very short period of time the huntsman recovered the hounds and removed them from the area.
“The couple involved were spoken with at the time and were visited by a hunt representative the next day.
“The dog was checked and cleared as fit and well by their vet.
“We very much regret the incident.”
The attack was witnessed by Julian Parrott, of Helston, Cornwall.
He said: “We could hear the hounds baying as if for blood.
“We saw a greyhound running for its life on the beach being pursued by the pack of hounds, with inept efforts by the huntsmen to keen them under control.”
The hunt has a licence to hunt around Gunwalloe on land owned by the National Trust, which includes the beaches.
Alastair Cameron, the general manager for The Lizard and Penrose National Trust, said: “Cury Hunt is licensed to enter our land for the purposes of trail hunting and exercising hounds over a restricted area and on restricted days.
“The National Trust takes this incident very seriously and is actively investigating.”
Devon and Cornwall Police have also launched a probe and are appealing for further witnesses to come forward.
A spokesman said: “Police have received a report alleging a disturbance linked to a possible hunt on Gunwalloe Beach.
“At this time no victim has come forward to the police to firm up this initial allegation.
“Any witnesses are asked to contact Devon and Cornwall police quoting log 242 for the 14th January.”
Source : Daily Mirror