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Beach nightmare for rider as horse sinks in quicksand

A rider had a lucky escape after the horse she was riding suddenly began to sink into quicksand.

Liz Potter was forced to scramble over the animal to safety as they sank deeper into the quicksand on a beach in Co Donegal.

"My horse just sank straight down into the sand and my feet were in the sand. It happened so quickly," Liz said.

The experienced rider was riding her horse, Clyde, near Carrigart when the frightening incident occurred.

She was accompanied by her partner, who was on his own horse.

The foreshore area was considered safe for horses and riders in the past but changing coastal erosion patterns have been blamed for potentially deadly changes in the terrain.


Ms Potter (33) said she realised she was in "deep trouble" when the horse suddenly sank and she could feel the sand sucking her feet into the ground.

As the horse sank deeper into the sand, the rider managed to save herself by climbing over the horse's head onto firmer sand.

But the horse continued to sink. She tried to help the horse by pulling him desperately by his bridle but then the bridle snapped.

She said: "I could hear his breathing was heavy and I could see in his eyes he was so scared as he was sinking deeper and deeper.

"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 and was just going to go under the sand."

The horse eventually managed to get his front two hooves out of the quicksand but collapsed exhausted from the effort.

His two back legs remained stuck in the quicksand.

Clyde then made one more lunge and managed to free himself. But he collapsed again and lay on the beach for several minutes. Eventually, the horse managed to get to his feet.


Ms Potter declared she was now too terrified to go anywhere near the strand.

"I was lucky, but I would hate to think what would have happened if it had been a child walking on the beach that day," she said.