New Forest pony damages VW Passat while searching for food

Kicking off: Aggressive wild pony smashes wing mirror and dents car bonnet as it terrorises parents after smelling their toddler son’s food

  • Jack Cowlishaw, 26, was transferring his two-year-old son to his ex’s car 
  • Several ponies approached his car in the car park at Cadnam cricket ground 
  • The New Forest ponies came up to the car after smelling some baby food
  • One pony jumped over Mr Cowlishaw’s open door and damaged his bonnet 

Video footage shows the shocking moment an angry pony leaps over an open car door and onto the bonnet after being denied food.

Several of the animals had gathered near the vehicle after being attracted by the smell of baby food before becoming aggressive towards the driver.

Jack Cowlishaw had tried in vain to get the pony away from the car whilst transferring his two year old son from his grey Volkswagen Passat car to his ex-girlfriend’s Fiat 500.

Jack Cowlishaw and his ex-girlfriend were surrounded by New Forest ponies after the horses smelled the food they were feeding their two-year-old son

One of the ponies walked right up to the open door of Mr Cowlishaw’s VW Passat, pictured

The horse leaps over the open door of the VW Passat according to the footage 

As the horse struggles over the door, it smashes the car’s bonnet denting its metal work

He was forced to seek refuge in the Fiat in the car park at Cadnam cricket ground in Hampshire’s New Forest after the animal tried to bite him.

And could do nothing but watch as the animal dented and scratched his bonnet, knocked the cover of his wing mirror off and cracked the plastic of his passenger seat.

As he filmed the incident the 26 year old from Gosport, Hampshire, can be heard exclaiming: ‘Look what he’s done to my car!’

Mr Cowlinshaw compared the ponies’ behaviour to that of seagulls.

Describing what happened, he said: ‘I had met up with my ex at the car park to swap our kid from car to car.

‘As I was putting him in the seat the pony smelt the baby food in my car.

The horse caused several hundred pounds of damage to the car, denting the bonnet and smashing the wing mirror

‘I was trying to get the pony to go away for around 15 minutes – but it started trying to bite me.

‘I’ve seen them be aggressive before, but never to this extent.

‘They’re just like big seagulls – because people feed them they expect the food.’

The car mechanic echoed calls by the New Forest Verderers Court to put up signs urging the public not to feed the ponies.

He said: ‘I think signs should be put up so tourists stop feeding them.

Jack Cowlishaw had tried in vain to get the pony away from the car whilst transferring his two year old son from his grey Volkswagen Passat car to his ex-girlfriend’s Fiat 500

‘If you go to more touristy areas of the Forest like Lymington, they just won’t give up and kick you for an ice cream.’

The animals are owned by people known as Commoners – villagers who have the right to let their livestock graze freely in the common land of the forest.

The ponies can weigh up to 660lbs and have been known to bite and kick out at tourists.   

Free-roaming ponies, pigs, cows and donkeys have roamed the New Forest, Hampshire, for thousands of years.

The famous creatures help maintain the stunning protected landscape and have right of way on New Forest roads.

There are thought to be around 3,000 ponies in the area.

Nigel Matthews, Head of Recreation Management and Learning at the New Forest National Park Authority, warned visitors to keep their distance.

He said: ‘Most New Forest ponies and donkeys are even-tempered animals and some will approach people, but they are not used to being handled and should be left alone.

‘They can react very suddenly if they feel threatened, so give them space.

‘The animals may look friendly but can bite or kick, especially when they have young children with them, so please keep your distance.

‘Sadly some people – usually children – are hurt each year.

‘Rangers help people to have a better understanding and awareness of how to behave around ponies to reduce the number of injuries.

‘It’s a serious issue and we are trying to spread the message that people must keep their distance from animals, both for their own safety and that of the animals.’

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