A TERRIFIED jockey was forced to climb over her horse's head and on to firm land after he sank in quicksand.
Changing coastal erosion patterns have been blamed for the incident in a foreshore area of Co Donegal previously deemed safe for horses and their riders.
Liz Potter was out for a ride on her horse Clyde along with her partner and his horse near Carrigart when the incident happened.
"My horse just sank straight down into the sand and I didn't know what was happening. My feet were in the sand it happened so quickly," she said.
Liz (33) managed to climb over her horse's head and on to firmer sand.
But her horse Clyde continued to sink and his bridle snapped as she fought to save him.
"I was close to tears I was so scared. And then he suddenly stopped struggling. I became hysterical because I thought he had given up," said Liz.
Clyde eventually managed to get his front two feet out but collapsed exhausted with his head on the drier sand and his two back legs still in the quicksand.
He then made a lunge and managed to get out but again collapsed before getting to his feet a few minutes later. Liz admits that she is now terrified to go near the strand.
"I was lucky that I managed to get off Clyde and he is such a fit horse that he managed to get out.
"But I would hate to think what would have happened if it had been a child walking on the beach that day."