A SIX-week-old foal from the the New Forest was put down after its back was broken in a hit-and-run by a passing driver.

The foal was found on June 13 at 10.20pm on the B3078 near Fordingbridge after a driver hit her and fled the scene.

Due to the extent of the injuries, the foal was put down on the side of the road and has left a scar on one of the lowest years for animal fatalities in the New Forest. 

Gilly Jones, co-ordinator for Operation Mountie, said: "This is the first hit-and-run we've had this year which in one way is good but in another way it's disappointing. 

"Someone out must have the guilt that they know they've done this."

Operation Mountie is a police operation aimed at improving road safety for drivers and animals across the Forest. 

This year has had the lowest number of accident figures the Forest has ever had with only eight animals killed or injured this year, compared to 15 last year. 

Gilly said: "It's just reminding people that they need to report this, accidents can happen anytime, day or night but we still need to just remind people that once you cross that cattle grid, you will encounter livestock.

"And if you don't care about the animals, then think of the consequences for your vehicle, for your passengers."

Gilly has since spoken to the commoner who owned the foal and said he has been left upset by the incident but that he is 'well-seasoned' and has had several animals killed on the road.

Gilly said: "It was a filly foal and she should have been out there living her best life and not shot at the side of the road because she couldn't get up."

A spokesperson for Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary said: "We were called at 10.17pm on June 13 to reports that a pony had been hit by a vehicle on Roger Penny Way, Fordingbridge.

"The driver of the vehicle did not stop at the scene.

"Sadly, the pony had to be put down by the register.

"Anyone with information should call police on 101 quoting 44240249504."