The owners of a pony who suffered a fatal injury in a collision with a car on Exmoor want to raise awareness of the issue.
Two drivers had stopped to allow a group of ponies to cross the road last Thursday (15 September) evening, but a van overtook, ploughing into the animals.
One of the car drivers called the police, who alerted the herd’s owners, Emma and David Wallace.
“The other driver thought he knew better,” Mrs Wallace told H&H.
“We were called by police late in the evening. The witness had called them but was understandably very upset as she and a car behind her had stopped to allow the ponies to cross.
“The impatient driver had overtaken them both and driven at speed into the last of the small group of ponies as they crossed the road.”
The mare who had been hit, seven-year-old Anchor Eastwind, was found with the grazing herd, but it emerged she had broken her pastern and she was put down.
Mrs Wallace wants to raise awareness of the fact the ponies are there, as this is not the first time an accident has occurred.
“I’d say it happens on average every 12 to 14 months,” she said.
“People need to be aware that on these open roads, through moorland where ponies graze, they need to take care.
“We do not wish to claim any compensation for the loss of a pony, but we do wish to be able to deal with an accident quickly.
“By this driver not stopping and driving away from the accident, it would never have been reported if it had not been witnessed and the pony could have suffered a prolonged death.”
Penelope Beattie bought the mare from the Wallaces as a youngster and showed her to county level before her return to the herd.
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She said: “She was a stunner.
“I know people’s argument is that livestock shouldn’t be on roads, but this is a national park, not an A road.
“Exmoor is there for everyone and it’s not just ponies, it’s riders and walkers too – people should not be speeding through it.”