After a New Forest pony was killed by a car on 8 January, a photo of other members of its string looking at its dead body has gone viral.
Facebook user Sarah Simmons - who shared the photo on social media after passing the scene the morning after - hopes that that the poignant image would act as a wake-up call to drivers to slow down around horses and ponies on roads.
Credit: Facebook / Sarah Simmons
She captioned the image: "Broke my heart this morning seeing another pony KILLED on the forest road. Even more that her friends were looking on.
"I'm sorry to the commoner who's lost the pony, I hope it's not someone's pony I know but I hope by posting this it may make people realise that it's not just the owner who it upsets but their herd members too.
"SLOW DOWN DAY/NIGHT ON FOREST ROADS THESE PONIES have more rights to these roads than you do.
"I will say a few drivers got a few choice words from me this morning even with this poor horse on the side of the road and the others looking on, they still were going too bloody fast."
New Forest ponies are world-famous. Credit: PA
Cathy Stride, the owner of the mare, told Horse and Hound that she was a nine-year-old called Hazel Hill Scrap. She also said that this was the third pony of hers to be injured on that same stretch of road.
Hazel Hill Scrap had been hit in the dark by a speeding car, the Daily Mail reports. She was knocked over and died at the roadside from internal injuries and a broken leg.
"They hit them like skittles," Stride said. "I welcome any publicity that helps drivers become aware; if they would just slow down it would help. They go too fast and don't give the ponies enough room. We've even had people driving over foals' feet as they lie beside the road.
"It's also really important that people don't feed the ponies, or they will congregate by the road waiting for the next handout. The photo was taken the morning after the accident and the herd had been waiting there all night."
Stride also said how the viral photo proved animals to have feelings, with the other ponies seemingly looking over their dearly departed friend.
"Her mother spent a day and a half looking over her," she said.
"Sarah's picture shows the animals do have feelings - that was something that came across to me very much."
She also added that anyone who hits a pony, or sees one being injured, should contact the Forestry Commission or New Forest Agisters.
Featured Image Credit: Facebook / Sarah Simmons