A horrified family found their horse dead and up to its neck in rubble after it fell down a disused mineshaft at the weekend.

Owners David and Sharon Rashleigh found 12 year old Milly buried up to her neck in the shaft in a corner of a field at Treskerby near Redruth, north Cornwall where she was kept on Saturday morning.

Milly had been on a piece of raised ground that appeared to have given way under her weight.

The Rashleighs, who rent the field, then had to hire a digger to remove the horse from the hole.

Mr Rashleigh said the family, which has five other horses, was devastated by Milly’s death.

He said: “We have had Milly for 10 years and she was one of our family.

“She was my wife’s horse but our youngest daughter hunted her with the Four Burrow. We will never be able to replace her.”