A Northland girl who sells horse poo to help pay for her pony can't understand why someone would want to smash up her roadside stall.
Since Christmas 9-year-old Skye Stevenson has been shovelling pony manure into bags and selling it for gold coin donations beside State Highway 10, just north of Waipapa, 7km north-west of Kerikeri.
The venture had been going well and was helping pay for feed for her horse, Delilah, as well as equipment such as a new saddle, until Skye's mum discovered her pony poo stand had been demolished.
Her first thought was that it might have been hit by a wayward car, but closer inspection showed it had been deliberately smashed up and the pieces strewn around the roadside.
Even the plastic money box – which anyone could have simply opened if they wanted to steal the contents – had been smashed to pieces.
Adding insult to injury, the vandals had also left a pile of rubbish including paper cups, napkins and disposable cutlery.
"I was upset and disappointed,'' Skye said. "I wanted to help pay for feed and saddles and stuff.''
Mother Chantelle Stevenson said Skye could understand that people might take poo without paying for it because they needed it for their garden to grow food for their family.
She also knew there was a chance someone might steal the money because it was next to a busy highway.
"What she couldn't understand was, why would anyone smash up her stand? She couldn't get her head around it."
The family was flooded with messages of support after Stevenson put up a post on Facebook about the incident. One regular customer even vowed to pay $50 for the next bag of pony poo.
"When she read the Facebook feedback she realised a lot of people really are nice," she said.
Skye's previous business venture was picking and selling oranges, which earned her enough money – $780 – to buy her first pony, Gabby.
She had helped break Gabby in but had since outgrown her and bought Delilah.
Skye plans to rebuild the stand and get back into the pony poo business this week.