An unclaimed horse which survived a crash that killed its mother on State Highway 2 last week has escaped a trip to the pound.
Pukehina chief fire officer Errol Watts said the horse was extremely distressed after a 4X4 vehicle crashed into and killed another horse, which he believed was its mother, at Pukehina about 7.50pm last Thursday.
The surviving horse, a brown mare aged about one-year-old, was put in a neighbouring farmer's paddock until its owners could be found.
Mr Watts and members of his volunteer fire crew had since visited each home in the area in search of the horse's owner but failed to find anyone claiming the horse or horses as their's.
"I've been racing all over the place ... I just want to find where this horse belongs," Mr Watts said.
Pukehina couple Lee and Charlotte O'Grady last night came forward to offer the horse a new home.
Mr O'Grady assisted emergency services with the horse at the scene of the crash and offered to take it if its owners could not be found, Mrs O'Grady said.
Already owners of about 10 horses, they were happy to take on the young mare, despite the extra expense it would cost them.
"It's nice to know where it's ended up and it's going to be well fed and looked after.
"It's quite a young horse and we'll have to pay someone to break it in if has not already been broken in. As well as the daily expenses."
Mr Watts said Pukehina locals had been looking after the horse since the crash but it needed to find a permanent home.
"It needed a home, someone to look after it."
Mr Watts said without the couple coming forward he would have been forced to call Tauranga animal control.
The horse had an abscess on a hind leg which did not appear to be given it any pain "but it could get infected and if it did not get treated soon it could be quite bad for the horse".
"It's a friendly horse. I can get my arm around her. Not at first though. It was pretty upset after its mum was killed."
The horse had been one of two on SH2 which caused a car to stop and attempt to warn other motorists with hazard lights. However, a 4X4 vehicle travelling in the opposite direction failed to slow down and struck the horse, throwing it into the other car before it landed in the middle of the road. Neither driver was injured.
The young mare would be taken to Mr and Mrs O'Grady's farm this week, Mrs O'Grady said.