POLICE are hunting a ‘hit and run’ van driver who smashed into a horse, leaving it with “horrific injuries”.
Rider Claire McCall, from Renfrew, was riding Sherry at 5.10pm on Tuesday when the pair were hit by a speeding white transit van.
Sherry was left with a gruesome gash which needed 19 stitches following the incident in Foxbar Road, Paisley.
The driver left the scene with a missing wing mirror and horse blood smeared on the side of his vehicle.
Claire, who had been riding with friend Lindsey Banks, 29, was forced to throw herself off her horse as Sherry bolted.
She watched in horror as the driver raced off.
She said: “I was hysterical, numb, in shock. One of us, or the horses could have been killed.”
On Facebook, animal lovers are helping to track down the hit and run driver.
In a heartfelt plea, Pamela Graham wrote: “The driver never bothered to stop and has caused horrific injuries to the horse.
“Can everyone please keep an eye out for a white transit can with no wing mirror and a dented left side covered in horse’s blood as he must be caught. This is absolutely shocking.”
Shiree Afzal added: “What an idiot to hit the poor horse. People like that need shot for hurting an animal like that.”
A Strathclyde Police spokeswoman said: “We can confirm that we were made aware of a van driver that struck a horse and its rider on Foxbar Road in Paisley.
“Enquiries are ongoing to trace the van and its driver.”