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New Forest verderers expressed their shock last week after a New Forest pony lay down beside its dead companion on the roadside.

Backley Moonshadow lay down beside her constant companion after the filly had been hit by a car.

Backley Celebration was hit by a car on Monday, 1 June, and susbsequently put down.

Her friend, Backley Moonshadow lay down beside her afterwards and agisters said they had never seen behaviour from a pony like it before.

The police were called at 4.08pm on Monday, 1 June, by a driver who had a filly seen standing in the road with her foot hanging off.

The pony was on the C10 at Vereley between Picket Post and Burley Street.

Several witnesses told police they saw a vehicle hit the pony, but that the driver did not stop.

Backley Celebration had a badly broken leg and was put down at the scene.

Two further hit and run incidents occurred during the same week, but neither pony was seriously injured.

A statement from the Verderers read: “Drivers need to remember that the forest animals do not have any road sense. They become used to traffic passing by and they have no idea the vehicles may badly injure or kill them.

“The animals feed alongside the road and may move onto the carriageway without warning. Motorists need to take much more care and at this time of year with the foals getting older and more playful and brave, even more care than normal is needed.”

A reward of up to £1,000 is on offer to anyone who provides information that leads to the successful conviction of a driver responsible for failing to report an accident with a commoners’ animal.
Anyone with information should contact the Verderers’ Office on 023 8028 2052, or the Police on 0845 045 4545.

The incident reference number is 44090240490.