FINAL UPDATE: THE New England Highway has reopened in both directions and traffic has returned to normal after a truck rollover in the early-hours of Tuesday.
Hunter horse trainers Todd Howlett Racing confirmed that the "horrific" crash involved one of their trucks carrying Mr Howlett and five horses.
"Todd escaped without injury but we unfortunately lost one horse at the scene and the other four horses are being monitored back at the stables," the company posted on social media.
"We would like to thank the emergency services, by standers and vet for their quick assistance this morning. Thank you for all your calls and messages of concern, lastly thank you to our staff for all their assistance this morning under such circumstances.
"We are all in a state of shock and coming to terms with what has happened this morning."
UPDATE 7.30AM: THE New England Highway has partially reopened in both directions at Belford after an early-morning truck crash.
Motorists are advised to avoid the area if possible, or expect long delays with one of two northbound lanes expected to remain closed for some time. The truck, which was reportedly carrying horses, lost control and flipped about 4.30am Tuesday. Four ambulance crews were sent to the scene, but the truck driver managed to walk away from the crash. He was assessed by paramedics and did not require further treatment.
Emergency services remain at the scene.
Motorists should allow plenty of extra travel time with traffic queues reaching nine kilometres by 7.30am. Exercise care and follow directions of emergency services and traffic crews in the area.
A truck salvage operation will take place throughout the day.
THE New England Highway is closed in both directions near Branxton in the Lower Hunter due to a truck overturned near Hermitage Road.
Avoid the area or delay your journey.
Also, exercise caution, follow directions of police and traffic crews and allow extra travel time.
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