Horse hit by two cars

TERRI RUSSELL IN GORE
Last updated 15:41 19/11/2012

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A horse is dead after it was struck by two cars on State Highway 1 at the weekend.

Sergeant Ian Temple, of Gore, said both drivers were headed north over Brydone Hill, outside of Mataura, at 11.30pm on Saturday night when they struck the wandering horse just seconds apart. 

A 42-year-old Invercargill man was the first to hit the horse at a speed of about 100kmh. The driver told police the horse jumped before striking the windscreen. The impact threw the horse over the vehicle and in the path of another vehicle trailing about 40 metres behind.

The second car received more damage than the first and both drivers were not injured in the incident, Mr Temple said.

Both drivers were lucky to escape unharmed, he said.

If the drivers were killed the farmer would have likely faced charges, Mr Temple said.

Stock straying over public roads usually involves cows and was dangerous to drivers, he said.

''It's changing land use in Southland that has had a huge impact on wandering stock.

''It's always a problem and it's a real danger.''

Driving over the hill, the drivers ''had no chance to stop what so ever'' and the responsibility lay with the farmer, he said.

The horse's owner, who is also a dairy farmer, said he was upset to lose his only horse that he rode often.

It was believed the horse got out after a plumber was called to the property on Friday afternoon and left the gate open, the farmer said.

Police investigations into the incident are continuing and charges were possible.

* In 2002 a Danish exchange student was killed when she was driving and hit a horse outside the Gore racecourse on State Highway 1.

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