THE shocking moment a young boy threw stones at a pony at a riding school has been captured on video.
The incident was recorded yesterday (Mon) afternoon and the boy has been identified and reported to police after the footage was shared widely on social media.
In the shocking clip, which took place at Bourton Vale Equestrian Centre in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, the boy picks up a rock from the path to throw at the pony.
After taking a few steps to build up momentum, he hurls the rock straight into the animal’s torso, from less than ten metres.
The stone hits the pony at great pace, and forces it to jump up in shock.
The footage has clearly been recorded from the mobile video sharing app Snapchat.
It was then posted on social media by staff members at the equestrian centre, who wished to identify the youngster.
The clip has since been shared by thousands of Twitter and Facebook users, including celebrities such as Duncan Bannatyne.
Leanne Launchbury, the owner of the equestrian centre, said that the footage had been reported to police and the boy had been identified.
Speaking this morning, she said: “The incident was filmed on Snapchat, and someone videoed it and sent it on to me.
“The boys was feeding the pony before throwing the stones at it!
“The pony isn’t injured, but clearly it won’t like people if they behave like that. We’re a riding school that teaches young children to ride, and it’s not very good if the pony then gets aggressive.
“The incident has been reported to the police and they have identified the boy involved.”
Social media users have reacted to the footage with horror.
On Twitter, Rich Wincup wrote: “I genuinely don’t know why people do this kind of stuff. Just can’t see where their heads are.”
Nathan H-P added: “Sad thing is nothing happens to people that do things like this, animal cruelty doesn’t carry a large enough punishment.”
Evans Murphy said: “Clearly a disturbed person to do such a wicked thing. Hope they catch him.”
A spokesman for Gloucestershire Constabulary said: “We have received a report of stones being thrown at a pony in Bourton Vale Equestrian Centre.
“Inquiries are ongoing. A boy has been identified and a local officer is due to speak to him and his parents about the matter.”