CAR repairers are being asked to assist a police hunt for a motorist who failed to stop following a incident involving three young girls riding their ponies.

The ponies were spooked by a red people carrier, which hit one of the horses, while another one panicked and ran at the vehicle, smashing the windscreen on the passenger side.

The man at the wheel then put his foot down and drove off without evening speaking to the terrified children, who were aged between eight and 13.

Prior to the incident in Pussy Cat Lane, Upper Cheddon, at about 3.30pm on Sunday, the motorist had driven up behind the girls, wheel spinning and revving his engine, police say.

The girls were uninjured, while one of the ponies suffered a minor bump on its backside.

Trudie Cooper, of Pyrland Hall Farm, off Cheddon Road, Taunton, whose daughter Danni, eight, was riding with her friends Caitlin Nation, 12, and Maddie Fisher, 13, said: “It was terrifying for the girls and the ponies – why would someone drive like that and then drive off with a broken windscreen?

“The girls carried on trotting when the car drove up behind them, but it then revved up, skidded and headed for the ponies.

“Maddie’s pony ran at the car and smashed the windscreen with its hooves, while Caitlin’s pony reared up.

“The girls, who weren’t thrown off, and the ponies were terrified – Danni’s been having nightmares since and it’s difficult to know how this will affect the girls and the ponies.

“I went out to the girls with the other parents straightaway and they were hysterical. They were beside themselves and couldn’t even speak.”

Mrs Cooper said there was also a passenger in the car – both men were in their 20s, white and clean shaven.

The car, which drove off towards Taunton, was red and could have been a Vauxhall Zafira or similar.

Insp Bob Muckett said: “We’d appeal to anyone who has been asked to repair the windscreen of that type of car to contact the police.”

PC Ben Hicks has appealed for any witnesses to contact him on 101 or to call Crimestoppers on 0800-555111.