Cury Hunt has said it "very much regrets" an incident that took place on a Gunwalloe beach at the weekend in which a hound allegedly attacked a pet dog.

Police are now asking for witnesses to come forward about the incident, which took place at the end of a day of trail hunting - allowed by law - which had been carried out by Cury members in the Gunwalloe area on Saturday.

Afterwards some hunt members took their horses and hounds to cool off at Church Cove beach and it was here that the alleged attack happened, on a dog belonging to an elderly couple, at around 3.30pm.

The couple had been taking their pet for a walk on the beach, where a seasonal dog ban is lifted during winter months, when a "horrifying scene" is said to have broken out.

Onlookers, including families with children, watched as one of the hounds careered across the beach, after being kicked by a spooked horse, followed by others from the pack.

They crossed the path of the elderly couple's dog and there was an "altercation," which some have claimed involved the pet being bitten - and possibly its owner also, as he tried to ward off the hounds using his wife's walking stick.

One person writing on Facebook, who claimed to have witnessed the incident, said: "It was shocking to see and I couldn't believe that they took the hunt on to a public beach where families were walking."

Another said they saw a greyhound "running for its life," pursued by the pack of hounds, which he claimed were "baying as if for blood."

A spokesperson for Cury Hunt said: "At the end of the day some of the riders went down to the beach to wash their horses off in the sea. Unfortunately, while paddling with the horses, one horse spooked, careered through the others and kicked a hound.

"This hound then ran across the beach with some of the others across the path of a dog. An altercation then took place. After a very short period of time the huntsman recovered the hounds and removed them from the area."

The representative added that the couple involved were spoken with at the time and were visited by a hunt representative the next day. Their dog was checked and cleared as fit and well by their vet.

"We very much regret the incident," said the spokesperson.

Devon and Cornwall Police confirmed that they had received a report "alleging a disturbance linked to a possible hunt on Gunwalloe Beach."

The force said: "At this time no victim has come forward to the police to firm up this initial allegation."

Any witnesses are asked to contact police by call 101, quoting log 242 for January 15, the day the allegation was reported.

A spokesperson for the National Trust, which owns the beach, said it took the allegation "very seriously" and had met with members of Cury Hunt to discuss it.

The representative said: "The hunt holds a licence to use National Trust land for trail hunting over a restricted area and for a specific number of times per year. The hunt have confirmed they were not trail hunting on land owned by the National Trust on the day this incident occurred and some members of the hunt went to Gunwalloe beach after the event had finished, to wash off the horses and hounds.

"The Trust takes these incidents very seriously and following a meeting between representatives of the National Trust and the hunt, the hunt have agreed to not meet again for the duration of this season on land owned by the National Trust."

The hounds are a popular attraction in Helston on Boxing Day each year, when Cury Hunt gathers in Coinagehall Street for its Christmas meet, watched by crowds of onlookers. The hounds roam freely amongst the riders on horseback, with many children stopping to pet them.