A RIDING horse was killed outside a Valleys school after it ran loose on a road.

Police said the animal collided with a van on Blackwood Road, Pontllanfraith, the horse's rider was thrown off and it ran into an oncoming vehicle.

A man who works nearby said he heard the horse was spooked, bolted down the road and was hit at the roundabout by the junction with Penllwyn Lane, at around 1.30pm.

Barriers at the scene, outside Pontllanfraith Comprehensive, could clearly seen to be dented as police carried out a clean-up effort.

Pastor Phil Harris and his wife Jayne, from Markham Congregational Chapel, whose house overlooks the scene, said they heard a bang and rushed outside.

Mr Harris saw the horse lying on the ground, while its rider and her friend, holding her grey horse, looked on.

He said: "The poor girls were distraught. It was a traumatic incident."

The couple asked the people who had gathered at the scene if they wanted to come into their house, while other members of the community rallied round with cups of tea.

Mr Harris said it was a dangerous road, with cars often speeding towards Blackwood.

Their neighbour Les Herring, 88, said accidents were a regular occurrence and there had been several near misses.

"It's a bit of a blackspot," he said.

Both the rider and the van driver sustained minor injuries, while the driver of the oncoming vehicle was not hurt.

Blackwood Road was cordoned off for several hours after the incident.