'I thought I was going to die' - Harborough dog walker describes the moment a herd of bullocks and cows charged at her

'You could quite easily be writing my obituary now because I feared that herd was going to kill me'

Thursday, 14th May 2020, 1:10 pm
Julia Marabella at the scene where the cows charged her before she managed to scramble over the fence. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

A terrified Market Harborough dog-walker has described the moment she was charged at by bullocks and cows, saying 'I thought I was going to die'.

Julia Marabella, 56, was suddenly attacked by the charging herd at a local beauty spot.

The mother-of-three told the Harborough Mail: “I’ve never been so scared in all my life – I really thought my time was up.

Julia with her cut fingers.

“You could quite easily be writing my obituary now because I feared that herd was going to kill me.”

Julia, who lives in Rainsborough Gardens on the southern edge of Harborough, said the terrifying drama unfolded at about 9.30am on Wednesday morning.

She was taking her beloved Labradoodle Lilly and terrier cross Teddy as well as her friend’s pet Labrador Kai for a 60-minute walk.

“There’s a fantastic public footpath that stretches out over the fields up to East Farndon and Great Oxendon almost from the bottom of our back garden.

“I’ve been taking our dogs over there for the last 12 years.

“It was a lovely morning and we went up to what we call the Goss locally to take our daily exercise.

“We were tramping back when the cattle started charging at me out of the blue.

“They’ve never acted like this before and took me totally off guard and by surprise.

“I immediately let the three dogs off the lead and they legged it straight home, jumping over the stile.

“The herd was led by four bullocks,” said Julia, who’s also got one grandchild.

“They were hyper, very excited, and they were kicking up their legs and running straight at me.

“I just thought ‘Oh my God, they are going to kill me’.

“Luckily I spotted a big stick, about four and a half feet long, lying on the ground near me.

“I picked it up and waved it at the bullocks and the cows.

“I’m no scaredy cat but I was that petrified I was even hitting the animals across their backsides although it didn’t seem to make any difference.

“I was on the footpath in the middle of a big field surrounded by a gang of very aggressive, very large beasts and there was no-one else there to help me.

“I was at least 100 yards away from the stile and safety so I thought ‘that’s it, I’m a goner’.

“I decided to give it one last desperate go before they knocked me to the ground and trampled me to death.

“So I ran at the cows shaking the stick and screaming like a lunatic, I was hysterical.

“They suddenly turned away, thank goodness, and that gave me about 20 seconds to hobble down to the stile.

“I got there just in time as the bullocks came storming at me again.

“I bashed my knee struggling over and gashed my hands, making them bleed, on barbed wire.

“I must have accidentally rang my son Oliver and he heard all the screaming and racket as I clambered out of the meadow.

“He was mortified but I was just so relieved to get out of that field alive and in one piece.

“I really did cheat death.”

Badly-shaken Julia, whose mother Sybil, 87, lives next door, warned walkers to stay out of the field and off the footpath.

“I’m still shaking as I talk to you now hours later after my ordeal.

“And my voice is hoarse from shouting at the cows,” she said.

“Never mind a herd, they were more like a pack of wild animals.

“I know cows can be very unpredictable and dangerous.

“But I’ve never seen them act like that before.

“So I’d urge people not to go in there and to leave these cows well alone.

“They can be especially annoyed by dogs and it’s just not worth risking your life for.

“These cattle could obviously sense my fear, their adrenaline was pumping and they got carried away.

“So please what ever you do – stay off that footpath above Rainsborough Gardens.

“Find another route to walk through our beautiful countryside and stay safe.”