Call goes out for greater road safety after pony dies in tragic road accident in Surrey’s Richmond Park.
A child’s pony was killed when a van ploughed into a group of riders hacking in Richmond Park, Surrey last week.
The 14hh pony, Blackberry, was being ridden by 18-year-old, Nicola Fox, who was injured in the accident, but has since been released from hospital.
Blackberry is the eleventh horse to die in a road accident since the beginning of this year. The 12-year-old owner of the pony is said to be “devastated”.
Another pony, a 15.2hh grey gelding called Echo was also seriously injured in the accident and is still at an animal hospital with leg injuries. His chances of survival are said to be “50-50”.
The driver is reported to have run away from the accident but was later picked up by police.
A spokesman for Richmond Parks police said: “The driver has not been charged but is being investigated for a number of alleged traffic offences.”
Julie Gatt, who runs Stag Lodge Stables where the ponies were stabled, said: “Apparently, the driver lost control and hit the first pony and then carried on to hit the other one 20yds further on.
“Any normal person would have stopped after the first incident. In my opinion, it’s madness he should get away without being charged.
“We have been continually asking the Parks department to put in measures to stop cars speeding down this stretch of the park. We are also petitioning the Parks police to change the road layout.”
The British Horse Society, which estimates more than 3,000 road accidents involving horses each year, have issued a renewed plea for motorists to take greater care.
“We wouldask all motorists to be patient and understanding when they meet a horse and rider. Wait until it is safe to overtake and then pass wide and slow (about 15-20mph). Take heed of any signal the rider may give when driving on the roads or in a park.”