People close to a Christchurch riding school are devastated following the horrific mauling of a much-loved pony.
Fudge, a 28-year-old pony, met a ghastly end on Thursday when TWO BULL TERRIER DOGS "ripped him apart".
Fudge had been living a quiet retirement on George and Kaylene Henry's rural Burwood property, after spending more than 15 years helping children learn to ride at the Mairehau Riding Centre next door.
George Henry would feed Fudge every morning and the pony would always be waiting for him at the gate, except on Thursday.
"I was quite surprised when he was not waiting for me. He was 20 metres down the paddock with the dogs gnawing at him," Henry said.
"ONE WAS HOLDING HIS BACK LEGS WHILE THE OTHER ONE RIPPED HIS FACE APART . IT WAS QUITE UPSETTING."
Henry, with the help of his son's friends, rounded the dogs up and put them in a covered trailer where they stayed until the Christchurch City Council dog control officers arrived.
"They were covered in blood. The horse was a mess. He was just a little pony."
The dogs have since been put down.
Kaylene Henry held Fudge while she waited for the vet to arrive. The vet was not able to do anything for Fudge and euthanised him."He didn't deserve that. I can't get the picture out of my head."
Fudge has been buried in his paddock and children from the riding school, who used to regularly groom Fudge, have laid flowers on his grave.
Michelle Pritchard, of the riding school, said the whole incident had been incredibly upsetting and it was hard to know what to say to the children who knew Fudge.
Pritchard said the dogs' owner should have been more responsible.
A council spokeswoman confirmed the dogs had been put down and said their owner had been fined $700.
HE IS ALSO NOT ALLOWED TO REGISTER A DOG UNDER HIS NAME FOR UP TO 24 MONTHS. ONE OF THE DOGS WAS CLASSED AS MENACING AND SHOULD HAVE BEEN WEARING A MUZZLE, THE SPOKESWOMAN SAID.