POLICE have been forced to close the busy Southwick Road near Wickham after an accident between a horse and a car earlier this morning.

The accident occurred shortly after 9.30am when the horse was struck close to the junction with the Mount Folley Nursery.

A vet was immediately summoned to the scene to put the horse to sleep, though the rider is understood to have escaped without serious injury.

A spokesman for Hampshire Constabulary said officers had been forced to close Southwick Road while vets attended to the stricken animal.

The road is likely to remain closed until at least 11am while the horse is removed from the scene and the area made safe.