The mysterious death of a beloved horse at the weekend has devastated his owners and many others in Haumoana who had become close to the animal.

Diesel was found dead in a ditch next to his paddock by owners Darren Keighley and Shani Hughes-Keighley, of Parkhill Stables, on Saturday morning.

Hughes-Keighley said she had come out of hospital on Friday night after suffering a mini-stroke on Thursday and was woken at 1am by the sound of boy racers driving down Parkhill Rd where their property is located.

"I didn't think anything of it as it's so common now so I went back to sleep."


However, in the morning when her husband went to check on the horses he found Diesel dead in a ditch, a broken fence, bits of car bumper and damage to an old chicken shed in the paddock where the horse had been.

The couple couldn't work out what had happened to their beloved animal but thought either someone had come into the paddock and hurt Diesel or he had been spooked by the noise of boy racers and run through the shed and fence.

"He suffered a very horrific ending, that's probably the hardest for us.

"I'm very confident it had something to do with the boy racers.

"We tend to get the boy racers on a Friday night very often these days now that there's no police in Clive."

However, he didn't usually mind noises and had been in the front paddock for years with no issues.

"He was literally bombproof."

Diesel also had no visible injuries apart from a cut to his eye.

"It's a complete mystery.

"It's absolutely devastating for us.

"To find him like that was very disturbing, especially as we don't know exactly what happened."

Diesel, who was a rescue horse, had been at Parkhill Stables for about 12 years and had been ridden by numerous junior riders.

"His main job was to look after all of the foals when they were weaned, he was Uncle Diesel."

Hughes-Keighley said the couple would have to consider installing cameras at their property now in the hope of deterring the boy racers at night.

Diesel died in mysterious circumstances on Friday night in Haumoana. Photo / Supplied
Diesel died in mysterious circumstances on Friday night in Haumoana. Photo / Supplied

They would often drive down Parkhill Rd as well as nearby East and Palomino Rds.

The death has triggered an outpouring of grief via Facebook from people in the community who had ridden or visited Diesel as well as others who have been affected by boy racers in the area.

"This was the last straw for these people. As a community we are sick to death of the boy racers," Hughes-Keighley said.

Police said the incident had been reported and it appeared the horse had been injured and died after getting spooked by something.

Anyone who saw something or has any information can contact Hughes-Keighley on 0272892192 or at