The owner whose promising event horse was killed in a collision with a car has issued a warning to others.

Sussex-based two-star eventer Kate Ludden’s 7-year-old horse, Blue Sapphire III, died on Monday 20 October when it was hit by a Vauxhall Vectra on the A23 near Hastings.

The driver, 33-year-old Richard Parkes, died on Tuesday (28 October) from injuries sustained during the crash.

But Ms Ludden is warning other horse owners to be on their guards as she believes her 3 horses were deliberately let out.

“We are not sure if they were let out or it was a theft gone wrong, but they were able to wander out onto the main road.

“They were 4 fields from the road, half a mile or so away. Three 5 bar gates had been left open and the electric fencing was down.

“I got a call saying my horses were on the road and when I went to see, one was dead. He had been killed instantly.”

Ms Ludden had owned Blue Sapphire III for 2 1/2 years and saw a future eventing with him.

“I just want to warn people and I’ve heard of other cases of horses being let out in the area too.”

A spokesman for Sussex police confirmed: “There is currently an investigation in place.”