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Police investigating an incident at the Badminton sponsored ride in which a pony had to be destroyed after sustaining horrific injuries in an accident while loading are appealing for more witnesses to come forward.

At about 4.30pm on 28 September, two men and a woman were allegedly beating a 13.2hh bay pony while trying to load it.

The pony is said to have reared up and fallen, sustaining such severe head injuries that the duty vet ordered it to be put down. Blue Cross officials were also called to the scene.

“This was a horrific incident,” says Kerstin Alford, head of welfare at the Blue Cross. “Such was our concern about the nature of the event that we insisted it was reported to the police. Our staff who attended are providing statements.”

PC Lee Bainbridge of Chipping Sodbury police, who is investigating the incident in conjunction with the RSPCA, says: “A number of people have already come forward as witnesses, but we need to hear from anyone else who was in that field at the time. We also want to hear from anyone who was taking photographs at the event.”

Badminton director Harry Verney says: “The police are taking this very seriously and have interviewed a lot of people. We are helping where we can.”

Anyone with information should contact PC Bainbridge at Chipping Sodbury Police (tel: 01275 818181) or Crimestoppers (tel: 0800 555111).

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