Police are hunting a callous driver who ploughed into a pony knocking a nine-year-old rider into a bush – and drove off.
Keen horseman Josh Kindell was out riding his pony Tango with his mum Kate, 33, who was holding the animal’s reins.
A silver car struck the pony from behind – sending Josh flying into a bush.
Tango – a chestnut mare – ran off, dragging poor mum Kate along the ground.
Josh suffered cuts and bruises and Kate was left with grazes to her hands, head and shoulders and had to go to hospital for treatment.
A vet who examined the pony after the incident on Monday found it had cuts and bruises.
Shaken Kate, a care home manager from Pulborough, West Sussex, said: “Not stopping is the issue for us. It is totally irresponsible.”
Sussex Police are carrying out forensic tests on a wing mirror knocked off in the impact to try to link it to the vehicle involved and its driver.
PC Karen Whitehouse said: “The boy was fortunate to have fallen into the hedge and not into the road where he could have suffered more serious injuries.
“It is clear from the debris left at the scene that the driver must have known that they had hit the pony but did not bother to check on the animal, the boy or his mother.
“We have seized a silver Peugeot that we are examining to try to confirm if it is the vehicle involved.”