A TEENAGE girl's search for her ponies has ended in sadness.
Cathy Roberts, 13, had been searching for 25-year-old pony, Frisky, and her eight-year-old daughter, Little Frisky, who disappeared from a field at West Slaithwaite on Sunday night.
Network Rail has confirmed that a train hit the ponies on a line near Marsden viaduct and both animals were killed instantly.
It remains a mystery how the ponies - which were both in foal - had got out of their field and then onto the railway.
Cathy's mum, Slaithwaite bookshop owner Melanie Roberts, said vandals must have opened the gate.
And she believes contractors working for Network Rail had left open a gate giving access to the railway about 50ft away.
She said: "That gate has been left open several times in recent months and we have complained constantly about it."
The mum of eight added: "These ponies were a big part of our family life.
"We are all devastated."
A spokeswoman for Network Rail said workers insist they had shut and padlocked the access gate when they left on Friday.