West Lothian: Teenager left 'heartbroken' after beloved horse is put down following collision caused by driver 'loudly revving' their engine
A West Lothian teenager has been left devastated after her horse had to be euthanised following a collision with a Land Rover on Thursday in Falkirk.
Shona Leckie, 19, said her horse Solly “put the fun back into everything” when he arrived four years ago and claimed he helped her build confidence, turning her into the rider she is today.
The collision happened around 5:15pm on Thursday, on an unnamed road heading towards Armadale, from the B8028 at Avonbridge.
Ms Leckie was uninjured in the collision.
Police Scotland are working to establish what caused the incident, but it is understood Solly was startled by an overtaking vehicle that loudly revved its engine.
Ms Leckie, who grew up in West Lothian, has described it as the “most horrible day imaginable”, saying she will never forget the bang of the exhaust that frightened her beloved horse.
Speaking to the Evening News, she said: “He was the best competition horse anyone could wish for, we won several championship titles together.
"I’ve had ponies since I was little. Mum and Dad bought Solly for me four years ago, he was the most reliable horse out there.
"He was a very successful para dressage horse with his previous owner Emma, who was paralysed from the waist down. I went to try him and felt so safe, he helped me build my confidence and I started to enjoy riding again.”
Ms Leckie went on to say that Solly was always very relaxed on the roads, he had been hacking for around ten years and traffic had never bothered him in the past.
She continued: “It was a horrific accident. I’ll never forget the sound of the exhaust banging and popping behind him that gave him a fright.
"It was so loud and it was behind him, so he couldn’t see where the noise was coming from.
"Waiting for Clyde vet to arrive to put him to sleep at the roadside was harrowing.
"Solly was and always will be my horse of a lifetime. I’ll never find another like him, I’m absolutely heartbroken.”
The collision on Thursday involved Solly, a blue Land Rover and a second horse that Ms Leckie’s sister was riding.
Ms Leckie, her sister and the second horse escaped unscathed from the incident.
The car, which is believed to have revved its engine and scared Solly, is described to be similar to a Ford Fiesta ST, orange in colour, with a black spoiler.
Police Scotland is working to find the driver of the vehicle. Anyone with information has been asked to contact 101 quoting incident number 2724 of September 16.
Constable Joseph Wood, from Livingston Road Policing Unit, said: “Our thoughts are with the horse’s owner and family at this time.
“We’re appealing for anyone who was in the area around the time of the incident and may have potential dashcam footage to please come forward.
"We would welcome any information which could help us establish the full circumstances and also trace the driver of the orange vehicle.”