THE death of a motorcyclist killed after colliding with a stray New Forest pony was a “tragic accident”, a coroner concluded today.

Southampton Coroners Court heard how Daniel Robins was one of two riders who were in collision with the animal on the westbound A31 at Picket Post near Ringwood.

The 31-year-old former Hardley School pupil was pronounced dead at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital.

Concluding the inquest, coroner Grahame Short, said Mr Robins had died an accidental death.

It came after a day long inquest Southampton Coroners Court which heard how police initially closed the entire A31 after the wild horse was spotted by PC Kevin Pearson - but then reopened the road after failing to spot it.

The inquest heard how the horse had wandered more than one mile beyond a lane that was coned off.

Speaking at the inquest Daniel's mum Lorna Robins said that the horse should have been found before the road was reopened.

The court heard how after 40 minutes PC Pearson lost sight of the chestnut brown pony after it vanished into undergrowth.

Meanwhile, with both lanes shut just after 5pm, rush hour traffic was building up as police officers struggled to locate the horse.

The court heard how police then decided to reopen the outer lane of the dual carriageway while shutting off the inner road for half a mile.

PC Pearson said: "Unfortunately we had to make a decision. We had to make a decision to allow traffic to flow. We could not keep the road closed indefinitely."

A police helicopter was requested but the control room did not call for one, the inquest was told.

But unbeknown to the police officers the horse had strayed further than the coned off area, the inquest heard.

In fact the court was told that the horse was in the middle of the road some 1.1mile from the end of the closed off lane.

Before the collision at about 6.15pm on January 22, but Mr Robins and the other rider Ian Woolgar, 47, from Broadstone, had ridden to the front of the stopped traffic.

When the outer lane was reopened the two set off, with Mr Robins ahead.

Mr Robins then struck the horse which was standing in the centre of the road. This flung the animal into the path of Mr Woolgar who also hit it.

As previously reported, the incident saw hundreds of drivers left stranded in their cars on the A31 with no food or water or access to toilets.

The accident probe also looked at both bikes and there were no defects and the weather and road conditions were good.

Mr Robins had no drugs or alcohol in his blood stream.

It was unclear whether he had his full beam on, although it was switched on after the impact.

Members of the public and then PC Rebecca Stark, the first officer on the scene, tried in vain to revive Mr Robins.

PC Stark said she had spoken to Mr Robins just minutes before at the top of the road block warning him of a horse in the road.

The investigation could not determined the speed he was travelling.

A post mortem found he died from multiple injuries to the body and the head.

Mr Woolgar suffered broken bones and cuts to his liver and kidney.

Concluding the inquest, coroner Grahame Short, said Mr Robins had died an accidental death.

The inquest also heard from Mr Robin's mum, Lorna. She asked why the rolling road block had not been extended to five miles to allow for the animal roaming.

Mrs Robins said: My son would be alive today if that happened.

"I know that horses can travel far."

But speaking afterwards, she told the Daily Echo  the horse should have been found before the road was reopened.

She said: “You can't make assumptions like that especially when life's in danger.

“I just feel given it could a life and death situation they should have erred on the side of caution.

She added: “Why there was not a slow rolling start done?”