I feared I’d die, said Calne walker
1:00pm Thursday 4th October 2012 in By Anne Moore
Nurse Karen Herbert is warning walkers after she was trampled by an angry cow while out for a stroll with her dogs.
The 57-year-old was already recovering from two broken wrists after a riding accident.
Ms Herbert, of Bryans Close Road, Calne, was walking her dogs Tia and Taz near Cherhill White Horse when the cow charged. She was left with extensive bruising, fractured ribs and a fractured shoulder blade.
She said: “One of the dogs hadn’t come through the gate so I turned to shout for her.
“I turned round again and I saw this cow charging at me. I was on the ground and I didn’t even have a chance to turn around.
“I thought I was going to die up there, it was stamping up and down and you could hear the bones going.
“When I stood up I fell back over. I thought I was paralysed, but I managed to get out of the way. I thought if I didn’t I would be crushed.”
It was the first time she had taken the dogs out since falling off a horse two weeks ago.
She often takes her dogs, a rottweiler and rottweiler German shepherd cross, for a walk on the Cherhill Downs, which is National Trust property.
Ms Herbert, a nurse practitioner with the NHS out of hours service in Chipp-enham and Trowbridge, had both dogs off the lead as she approached the white horse from Calstone and tried to cross a field of cows using a public footpath. She had her back to the animals when a cow began to charge at her.
The cows, which had been herded into the field for TB testing, are owned by farmer Andy Brown, who had padlocked the gates. Because of this he was the only person with access.
Ms Herbert had his number and was able to ring him before she rang her family.
She said: “If I see any problems with the cattle I always ring him. I rang him because I knew he would be able to get onto the downs.”
Mr Brown took Ms Herbert and the dogs to nearby Manor Farm, where her family, including daughter Charlotte Daniels, were waiting.
Ms Herbert said: “It always seems like forever when you are waiting for help but it was probably about 20 minutes. My family came up and rang 999. Five or ten minutes later I was in safe hands. When you get that kind of chest injury it could be serious, but at least I’m recovering.”
Miss Daniels said: “It would have crushed and killed a child or someone who was elderly.”
Now Ms Herbert, who was released from hospital on Monday, hopes to warn people visiting the white horse who may try to enter the field.
She said: “It was such a traumatic experience. I was walking out of the way to avoid the cows. When you have a public footpath people have to be warned. There’s a lot of them in a small area.
“You get young families walking up there and because it’s such a nice place to walk you don’t expect to be attacked.”
Allan King, from the National Trust, said: “We sympathise with the injuries Mrs Herbert has received in this incident. Because of the rights of way crossing land, we have signs warning of the presence of livestock and will review them to make sure they are suitable.
“The animal involved has been monitored since the incident and is not showing any behaviour which would cause concern.
“While we recognise that it will be of no comfort to the lady who was injured as she recovers from her very unpleasant experience, thankfully such incidents involving walkers are quite rare.”
Mr Brown would not comment on the incident.
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