An owner who lost her beloved horse after he was chased by a dog is urging the public to ensure they keep their pets under close control to prevent further heartbreak.

Katie Smart had owned Sir George since 2020 and the pair had enjoyed countless adventures together, from pleasure rides and horse agility, to barrel racing and dressage. The 15-year-old Appaloosa gelding was a cherished member of the family the Katie and ‘Gee Gee’ had formed a very close bond.

On 1 June Gee Gee was spooked by a loose dog who ran into his paddock and gave chase. Gee Gee ran too close to the paddock fence, skidded and rolled through, causing severe damage to his front offside tendons in his leg. The damage was so severe that the kindest choice was to put him to sleep.

Katie was devastated to lose her horse and is now calling on dog owners to take note by keeping their animals under close control when near horses and livestock. She is also urging riders to report any dog related incidents, via the British Horse Society’s i app.

Since losing Gee Gee Katie has been speaking to the BHS for advice on legislation, and although she found she did not need to access their Friends at the End bereavement service due to finding comfort from her own support network, she hopes to highlight this service to other equestrians who may be struggling.

Katie stressed that even if a dog has never attacked or chased a horse before, their chase instinct is strong and could kick in at any time, so ensuring they are on a lead and under control when near horses, regardless of their temperament, is essential.

Although it was not an option to save Gee Gee due to the severity of his injuries, Katie also encouraged owners to check their horse’s insurance and read the small print to ensure they are sufficiently covered in case of such an accident.

“Our lives will always be better for having know Sir George but we can’t help but feel he has had many years stolen away,” she added. “He truly was our horse in a million and life will never quite be the same without him.

“I hope that by sharing our story it can raise awareness of the dangers of dogs off leads and help save another.”

For more information and advice surrounding horses and dogs, click here.

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