THREE riders were hospitalised after being thrown from their horses when the animals were spooked by a barking dog off the lead.

The women were on a trek in Palacerigg Country Park, Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire, with a member of staff from a nearby riding school when the horses were spooked.

Dawn Harrison, the owner of Tannoch Stables, said the group met a woman who tried to get her dog back on the lead as it raced towards them.

READ MORE: Glasgow publican reveals true story behind viral picture

But the dog’s barking scared the horse and the four riders were thrown from the animals.

Emergency crews raced to the scene on April 24 and three of the women were taken to hospital where they were treated for minor injuries.

Ms Harrison called for dog owners to be more responsible after four similar accidents this year.

She said: “They were coming towards the end of their trek in the country park when they met a lady who had her dog off its lead, she tried to get the dog back on its lead but didn’t manage so then it ran off towards the horses barking.

"The horses got spooked which caused all four riders to fall off and then the horses galloped off, three up one main road and one went up another.

“A paramedic came and we managed to treat the worst of the staff members’ injuries and get her into the back of a first-aid van.

"Then we had about seven ambulances in the car park of the country park who tended to the other casualties. 

“We’re just trying to say to dog owners that we should all be able to use the park safely; whether you’re a cyclist, a horse rider, or a walker.

"Dog owners need to start taking more responsibility again, this is the fourth time this has happened this year and although the others were only superficial, we feel like we’ve had our warning now and that we need to get people to start paying more attention to their actions.

READ MORE: Charing Cross street closed after unexplained death

"The incident resulting in the horses running off down the main road between Palacerigg Country Park and Cumbernauld as well is so dangerous, it could have ended horrendously.”

A Police Scotland spokesman said: “Around 2.50pm on Saturday, April 24, police received a report that four horses had been spooked after seeing a dog in Palacerigg Country Park.

"Three women, who were riding the horses, were taken to hospital with minor injuries and were later discharged.

“No criminality was established and suitable advice was given.”