CALIFORNIA -- A dog believed to be a boxer mix attacked three Icelandic horses and their riders on a trail Friday in O'Neill Regional Park in Trabuco Canyon, officials say.
One of the riders was thrown off her horse during the attack and was taken to a local hospital, according to an official with the O'Neill Regional Park Rangers. Two of the three horses suffered bite marks.
Helga Thordarson, of Trabuco Canyon, who was one of the riders, posted about the attack on Facebook and is asking for help identifying the dog's owner.
Thordarson told the Register that the attack occurred at about noon on Friday. She and her friends were coming down from a trail peak when an off-leash dog ran past them.
She said the dog, which she estimates weighed 95 pounds, then turned around and bit her friend's horse on the neck and legs.
"The attack was completely unprovoked," said Thordarson.
Thordarson said she and her friends tried to beat the dog off the horses with riding crops to no avail.
The dog continued to attack the horses for three to five minutes and her horse, Tyr, was bitten multiple times, she said.
One picture of Tyr's neck she posted shows multiple bite wounds. She said her friend was thrown off her horse.
The attack stopped after Tyr fought back.
After the attack, Thordarson approached the dog's owner and said she was given contact information but has not been able to reach the woman. Thordarson also submitted a report to the O'Neill park rangers.
Thordarson posted a picture of a group of women with a dog on her Facebook. She is asking anyone who may know the women to contact the rangers.
"The reason why I posted their picture is because my vet and Animal Control officials said any time there is a bite attack, the animal needs to be quarantined and tested for rabies," Thordarson said.
Thordarson said her horse is on strong antibiotics. Another horse has a jagged cut on its leg.
Her friend, she said, is "black and blue" but otherwise okay after being thrown off the horse.
"I'm just glad nothing tragic happened," she said. "It could have been much worse. We were on a ledge. These are original Viking horses. They didn't panic and defended us."
O'Neill Regional Park is situated in Trabuco and Live Oak Canyons. The park is a popular place to hike, camp and picnic.
(OCRegister - March 28, 2015)