A COUPLE had a lucky escape when a driver “used his vehicle as a weapon” and rammed into their pony in a hit-and-run near Fordingbridge.

Jacqui Vanderhoek was riding her horse while her husband Tony walked a pony along Fryern Court Road when the motorist veered towards them.

The unknown driver “ploughed” into the rear of the pony just after 6pm on Friday before driving off without stopping.

The 18-year-old pony is now lame and will take about a week to recover.

Jacqui said: “This was a deliberate act to barge through our animals and not stop at the scene.”

She added: “I would like him to be accountable for his reckless actions.”

Police have not been able to trace the vehicle.

Jacqui said: “Just as we were approaching the nursing home where the road narrows almost to single file usage, a silver hatchback, probably a Citroen C4, headed towards us giving us no time to find a pull in place.”

Jacqui said her husband signalled to the driver, who they believe was in his 70s, to slow down but he saw a “red mist” and was waving his arms, mouthing angrily for them to get out of the way before speeding up and hitting the animal.

She said: “The driver’s response was to accelerate without a care for his actions which resulted in him using the vehicle like a weapon, barging into the front leading pony with a thump, pushing him sideways into the horse I was riding causing him to spin at an awkward angle.

“Our unshod pony left hoof skid scrape marks on the road with the impact and resulted in a muscle injury to the rear thigh. Fortunately the impact was a glancing blow and not to his legs.”

Jacqui, who has been riding for a number of years, said incidents like this are “very rare, adding: “Most drivers are very courteous.”

“It could have been more serious,”

she said. “The message is respect for all road users.”

Police were called at 6.26pm. A spokesman said: "We have not been able to trace the vehicle. It was described as a silver Citroen and may have wing mirror/ door damage."

Anyone with any information is asked to call police on 101 and quote incident number 878.

The incident has also been logged with the British Horse Society.