A Dartmoor pony has died after colliding with a motorcyclist near Princetown, in the early hours of Sunday morning (7 October).
The rider, whose bike was a total write-off, was taken to Derriford hospital in Plymouth after he hit the pony. His injuries were said to be serious, but he was stable. The young pony, however, died from the impact.
The accident happened during the pony drift, which is when ponies are brought down from the moors. They are then sorted and either sent to the annual sale or released back onto the moors.
According to Maureen Rolls, of South West Equine Protection, those ponies making their way back to their herd are often found on the roads when the temperature drops as the tarmac provides warmth. They also lick the road surface and the soil on the sides of the roads to obtain certain essential minerals.
Many of these ponies will be anxious as they may have been separated from their herds, and not all of them are traffic wise.
“We are calling for all vehicle users on the moorland roads to please use caution and stick within the speed limits, especially after dark when it becomes difficult to see the dark coloured ponies,” she said.