The owner of a horse hit and killed on a busy Wellington street still has no idea why the animal was taken for an early morning ride, her friend says.
The horse, which lived on a marae in Island Bay, was hit by a truck just after 6am on Adelaide Road in Berhampore - blocking one lane, for a time.
The man who was thought to be riding the horse earlier in the morning also lived on the marae.
James Whyte at Gramercy Bakery on Adelaide Road said that, when he saw the horse, it was being ridden north towards the city.
"About 6am there was a large object out my window, outside the front of the shop.
"I snuck outside and had a look and there was a horse randomly cruising up Adelaide Road, and then my pastry chef arrived and she was astounded by the fact there was a horse cruising up Adelaide Road as well.
"And then about 6.10am, we saw a police car screaming down Adelaide Road and a few customers came in, shortly thereafter - when we opened at 7.30am - saying that a horse had been hit down the road and was killed and was lying in the middle of the road.
"It was pretty sad event, really."
Maraea Rakuraku said her friend Mere Takoko, who owned the horse, was too upset to speak about it.
She said, because the weather was so bad, her friend would never have allowed the horse to be taken out.
"She was taken without Mere's knowledge because of course, if he had come to Mere, she would have said 'no', and there would have been a whole conversation that would have been had - but he didn't."
The truck's driver was not injured. The northbound lane of Adelaide Road was closed and diversions were put in place via Dawson Street while the animal was removed.
A council contractor with a digger removed the horse, which was taken to a landfill to be buried.
The police have said they may lay charges in relation to the incident.