An “irreplaceable and wonderful” horseman was killed in a road accident yesterday (Monday, 14 December).

Equine transporter Nick Murphy of Wexford Horse Transport, Ireland, was involved in an accident on the M4 at around 4.10am.

Fifty-six-year-old Mr Murphy was travelling back to Ireland after picking up a horse in Wales. He was changing a blown out tyre on his horsebox on the hard shoulder when he was struck and killed by a vehicle.

The collision took place in Newport, Wales, at Tredegar Park Interchange.

Mr Murphy was travelling with a co-driver who was not injured. The horse was safely taken from the site of the accident.

A 45-year-old man from Merthyr Tydfil has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving. He is currently on police bail.

Mr Murphy was a keen huntsman, former showjumper and showing enthusiast. His Belgian warmblood stallion Mr H was his passion.

He leaves behind his partner Julie Radden, his daughter, Annette, and his son, Ryan.

Nick Murphy

Nick, Annette and his best friend Tommy

“He was a huge part of my life and my younger brother’s,” Annette told H&H.

“The horses and farm life made us who we are today: hunting with my dad when I was young, teaching me and my brother to drive the tractors and playing in the hay barn.

“He was very well known for his welcoming character. He was always encouraging and helpful to everyone.

“I will miss him very much and I hope I continue to make him proud. He always said to me, ‘If you try your best that’s all that counts, it doesn’t matter where you come, because if you have done your best you have won anyway’.”

Mr Murphy had been based in Wexford with his partner Julie for past 11 years.

“He touched so many people and he was so well known and so well loved across Ireland and England,” Julie told H&H.

He loved his stallion, who he bought as six-year-old. They showjumped and hunted and when he moved here he took up showing. Mr H died a few years ago and lived to 29.

“Nick was a unique people person and I will always remember him. We were childhood sweethearts.”

Thousands of Mr Murphy’s friends have shared their condolences on social media.

Laurie Kearon, secretary of the Irish Association of the Welsh Cob and Pony Society, described Mr Murphy as “fantastic”.

“He had so many friends and people he has worked with over the years,” she told H&H.

“He was an irreplaceable wonderful man and he will be very sadly missed. He was such a great craic — he was a very funny man who always made us laugh.

“Nick and Julie have always supported the society, they sponsored our shamrock championships every year.”