A horse that had to be destroyed after being hit by a car in Christchurch belonged to a local man who frequently travelled around the city centre with two horses, police say.

The incident which led to the horse's demise occurred on Monday night.

Police said they were contacted by a number of people about 7.30pm, reporting sightings of a horse around the Poulson St, Spencer St and Brougham St expressway.

"Our enquiries to date indicate that the horse was one of two owned by a man who is known to move around the central city and inner suburbs with two horses. It appears he was riding one horse, and attempting to locate and secure the other," a police spokesman said.


"The horse unfortunately bolted on to the expressway where it was hit by a car travelling east on the expressway."

The collision resulted in extensive damage to the car. The driver suffered minor injuries and was taken to hospital.

Because the horse was seriously injured, officers at the scene made the decision to put it down, the police spokesman said.

"A number of members of the public stopped and offered assistance to the driver of the car, and others stayed with the horse."

The owner of the horse spoke with police at the scene.

There are plans to interview him further, the spokesman said.

"Police are looking at whether charges may be laid in relation to the horse's owner. Police will also liaise with the City Council in relation to animal control issues."