Pony killed and road chaos after gate is vandalised

A HORSE was hit by a car and killed on the A31 on Christmas Eve after a gate was vandalised and a herd escaped from fields near the Bickerley, causing chaos on the dual carriageway.

A green Cherokee jeep driven by a 50-year-old Bournemouth man, hit the New Forest pony near the Texaco Garage after seven of a herd of 13 horses escaped from fields on the north side of the Castleman Trail at 4.36am.

The pony, who was in foal, was put to sleep at 5.26am. The chaotic scenes were caused after the herd escaped from the field through a barbed wire gate at Stubbings Meadow.

The owner of the fields, Richard Pierson, said the barbed wire gate had been deliberately cut.

He said: “I went out to check the horses at about 6.45am on Christmas Eve. I found that some idiot had cut the barbed wire gate and so I mended it.

“It was when it got light that I realised seven horses were missing. We searched the fields but could not find them. I rang the police to report the missing horses, all of which have been microchipped, and to report the damage that had been made to my gate.

Mr Pierson added: “It is tragic that the pony was killed because of someone’s stupidity. The incident could have been worse, two or three people or even a coach load could have been killed.

“Hasn’t this person who cut my fence got better things to do with their time? Wouldn’t it be better if they put their energies into something more positive?”

A Hampshire Police spokesman said: “This was a nasty experience for the driver of the vehicle and left the horse dead. “As general advice we'd also ask people who do have animals to check the fencing around their enclosures following all the recent bad weather. Please make sure it is secure so they don't wander out as no one wants this type of incident to happen.

“If anyone knows who it may belong to or has any information about the incident please contact Ringwood Police on 101.”

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