Hugh’s story: trampled by the herd

In May, 2010, I was out on a routine country walk in the Yorkshire Dales, with my wife and our young dog. We noticed the dog’s collar was becoming a little tight, so we loosened it a notch.

We entered a field on a public footpath, came over a rise, and saw a herd of cattle. They were a mix of cows, bullocks, heifers and calves, with a bull among them. At first, they were ALL lying down, so we walked round them, leaving two to our left.

Slowly, they began to wake up. Next thing I knew, I must have been hit in the back, because I was on the floor being trampled.

I thought I was going to die.

Suddenly, the herd abandoned their attack and, presumably, went after the dog. Fortunately, she had slipped her lead which I was still left holding.

I turned and saw a bull walking towards my wife. She ran out of the field and I limped after her – just in time – as the galloping herd returned.

Luckily, we managed to escape from the field. I was badly bruised on my shoulder, hip and thigh. My wife and our dog, a 7 month old Keeshound, were both OK.

In retrospect, I know I was so LUCKY, because I would have died if the dog had not slipped her lead. We had only just loosened her lead a notch 20 minutes earlier. There were no warning signs, just a sign saying the name of the cattle breed. Charolais. The field was signed sometime afterwards, but we think that herd has gone.

I didn’t seek immediate treatment, but went to hospital later for check up and an X-ray.

I reported the incident to the police, to the farmer, to the Ramblers, to the Local Authority and to the Yorkshire Dales Authority. Later, I decided to sue and used a NO WIN NO FEE company. I won half of £14,000 some time later.

Wish the Killer Cows site had been around then. At the time we couldn’t find anyone to help. Of course, sadly the incident has completely changed the routes we now walk.


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