SUV strikes miniature pony on California highway after rider falls off, cops say

California drivers expect bizarre sights on the state’s traffic-choked highways — but an oddity spotted on a Long Beach freeway over the weekend was weird even by Golden State standards.

An injured miniature pony was found on the westbound lanes of Highway 91 south of downtown Los Angeles on Sunday morning, according to California Highway Patrol officers in Santa Fe Springs.

“An SUV hit the miniature horse and fled,” CHP officers wrote in an Instagram post on Sunday evening.

But how did the little horse end up on a highway in the first place?

“A little girl was riding the pony and the pony got away from her,” CHP officers wrote on Instagram. “She lives just north of the freeway.”

Authorities came to the rescue and wrangled the pony.

Pony .jpg
A driver hit and injured this miniature pony Sunday in Long Beach, California, during a 91 freeway hit-and-run crash, California Highway Patrol officers said. The horse’s rider had fallen off. Good Samaritans helped get it out of traffic, according to CHP CHP - Santa Fe Springs

CHP officers said the miniature horse “only suffered minor injuries (scratches and abrasions) but was released to the owner after animal control looked at it.”

The animal escaped the rider near a highway off-ramp at Atlantic Avenue, according to CHP, and then ended up in traffic, where it was hit by the SUV, the Orange County Register reports.

“We were fortunate enough to have good Samaritans that stopped to help us rescue this pony off the freeway,” said CHP Officer Marcos Iniguez, according to NBC Los Angeles.

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Jared Gilmour is a McClatchy national reporter based in San Francisco. He covers everything from health and science to politics and crime. He studied journalism at Northwestern University and grew up in North Dakota.