A much-loved greyhound was fatally injured on Wednesday when she collided with exercise equipment hidden in long grass in a park.

Distraught owner Michael White, 56, of Roundwood View, Banstead, said his beloved dog, Blue Desire, broke her back the accident in Nork Park at 8am.

Mr White, who warned that the hidden equipment is also a danger to children and cyclists, said: "I lost my dog tragically. She suffered terribly for an hour before she was put down. It was absolutely terrible."

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He carried Blue back to his car, with help from another dog walker, and drove her to Priory Vets, in Tadworth High Street, then specialists in Reigate and Ockley.

But in the end he said: "There was no way back."

Mr White said: "It is very worrying having that danger lurking in the long grass. I think it was outrageous that it was allowed to grow over the equipment."

Mr White complained to Reigate and Banstead Council which has promised to cut the long grass.

He said: "The council has installed equipment that is effectively impossible to use because of the overgrown nature of the grass and it has become dangerous.

"There is evidence it is a real and present danger because of what happened to Blue. Obviously it’s very upsetting for the whole family."

Mr White said Blue had raced quite a lot and had a win in Catford before her retirement about a year ago.

He described her as an "absolutely lovely greyhound", who was soppy and scared of her own shadow.

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Blue Desire takes part in a greyhound race

His son Nick, who works in the greyhound training industry, took Blue in as a pet but gave her to them before the birth of his first child.

Mr White said: "It was Nick's intention to breed Blue so he has lost out financially by several thousand pounds. We have only had Blue since February and she was settling in nicely with our other dog.

"She had just settled into being a domestic pet but still had her turn of speed, which was her downfall."

A spokeswoman at Reigate and Banstead Council said: "Mr White has been in touch with us and we are sorry to learn about what happened to his dog.

"We can understand how distressing it must be for him and his family. We have arranged for the grass in that area to be cut and the matter is being further investigated."

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