A WOMAN was mauled by a pig in a quiet county lane after it caused her horse to throw her.
Suffering from broken ribs as a result of the fall, Carolyn Robinson watched in horror as the animal then charged at her without warning.
It pushed her into a hedge and starting snapping at her legs with its jaws.
The attack could have deadly if it had not been for Mrs Robinson's 18-year-old daughter and two others who managed to distract the pig and drive it away.
Mrs Robinson, 51, an experienced horse rider, told the Daily Echo how she first noticed the pig while riding in the New Forest. It appeared to be circling a white car parked on a verge with a woman and her dog inside.
The pig then suddenly charged at speed spooking her horse.
Attack "There was no where to go," Mrs Robinson said.
"My horse spun around, started to panic and tried to run away. My horse bucked, threw me and galloped off. Then the pig attacked me.
"I got to my feet but it pushed me into the hedge and was trying to bite my legs. It got hold of my coat.
"I had very little strength to fight it off because I was weak from the fall.
"It was terrifying. I've never been attacked by anything before. I didn't know how I was going to get out of the situation."
Mrs Robinson's daughter Charlotte, a student, said: "As soon as my mum hit the ground I knew I had to get it away from her. I tried to make my horse attractive to it and was leading it around in circles."
The pig was eventually warded off with the help of a dog walker who had caught Mrs Robinson's horse Norman further down the lane and the woman in the car who started beating her horn.
Mrs Robinson sought refuge in a nearby yard, and was taken to hospital after the attack at Brockis Hill Road, Bartley.
Mrs Robinson said: "It was the biggest pig I've seen around the forest. It was huge. I'm only 5ft 4in.
"It was intent on taking a chunk out of me.
"Without someone there I dare not think what could have happened.
"I've come across a lot of pigs but I have never had one run a me at speed.
"It took me five days to talk about it without breaking into tears. I was really quite shocked about it."
Mrs Robinson, a nurse from Huntingdon Close in Totton, spent two days in Southampton General Hospital following the attack.
The fall left her with fractured ribs, concussion and internal bleeding, which bruised half her body.
She appealed for her rescuers to get in touch with the Daily Echo so she could say a personal thank you. Call 01590 613839 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.