A pony who was found on a country road and has since died may have been involved in a harness race.
Kent Police is investigating the death of the skewbald, who was found on the Lenham Road, Headcorn, Kent, on Monday (16 May), after what a witness described as a “horrific act of cruelty”.
Officers were called to the scene at about 12.45pm to reports of concerns for the welfare of the pony, which is thought to have been a colt.
A witness, who estimated the horse to have been “no more than three years old”, said she saw him fall to the road.
“I have just witnessed a horrific act of cruelty,” she said. “Two males have just driven a pony into the ground.
“They have left it on the road on a bad bend and made off with the harness and cart.
“The men were seen to be beating it and laughing seconds before it dropped to the ground.”
Another witness who drove past the scene said: “It made me sick to see this the poor pony. Thank you to you for being kind and helping sorting the horse out.”
A spokesman for Kent Police said the RSPCA had also been informed.
“Officers attended the scene and a horse was found in the road,” he added.
“It has since died. It is reported that it may have been involved in a harness race.
“Enquiries into this are ongoing and the RPSCA have been informed.”
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A spokesman for the RSPCA said that as the incident was the subject of a police investigation, the charity would make no official comment but urged anyone with information to contact officers “as soon as possible”.
Anyone with information can call Kent Police on 101, quoting reference 16-0555.