Horse rider injured after loud 'bang' near common

PUBLISHED: 15:21 10 June 2019 | UPDATED: 15:28 10 June 2019

Aylesbeare Common. Picture: Alex Walton

Aylesbeare Common. Picture: Alex Walton

Picture: Alex Walton

An investigation is underway.

A horse owner was left 'terrified' after a loud bang caused her to be thrown from the saddle and injured.

Lesley Anderson was just getting on the horse beside Aylesbeare Common on Wednesday, May 29, when the incident happened shortly before 10am.

An investigation is underway by the Royal Navy, but the cause of the mysterious noise has not been confirmed.

A Royal Navy spokesman said: "The incident is currently under investigation; therefore it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time."

Mrs Anderson says she has been told by police it was an unexploded bomb being detonated.

As a result of the 'bang', Mrs Anderson was thrown from the horse which then fell on top of her.

Mrs Anderson told the Herald: "It was absolutely terrifying. It's all been very unfortunate and I was unlucky to be on a horse with a bomb in the area.

"I had just got on to go for a ride and if we had been five minutes later, we would have been nearer it.

"A lot of people ride there. We keep our horses there. It's quite and beautiful land. Its not safe to ride around Exmouth so we choose to go somewhere we can ride off road. It's a shame that it happened but its good because often there is a group of lovely kids out there with their parents who go for a walk and it could have been them.

"If the horse had fallen a foot up my body, it could have been very different.

"There's nothing more that can be done. They have to be safe. The detonating of a bomb has to be done. I just wonder if they can set off an old fashioned siren off as a warning sign."

The Exmouth resident was left badly bruised and hobbling and took to Facebook to ask if anyone else had heard the noise.

She said: "This morning [Wednesday] at around 9.45am there was a huge bang near Benchams, sadly at the same time I was getting on my pony. Does anyone know what it was as I am terrified it will happen again? Both of us are injured as she fell on me, so if I can find put the cause I can then stop worrying? It isn't the crow scarer at Outer Hangar, it was much nearer."

The Herald has contacted the Royal Navy Bomb Disposal team, Army and Devon and Cornwall Police about the incident.

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