Horse runs wild in Knowle

A HORSE running wild on a road in Knowle was reunited with its owner after motorists helped to capture the animal.

The rider-less horse was found along the B3178 from Knowle village towards East Budleigh just before 9am this morning.

Exmouth Police said: “We have just found the horse and it has been reunited with its owner.”

Nick Stephen, a press officer at East Devon District Council, helped to capture the distressed animal after he spotted it on his way to work.

He said: “I saw a riderless horse, complete with saddle and stirrups, trotting towards me.

“The animal looked distressed and was clearly a danger to vehicles on this busy road shortly before nine in the morning.

“I stopped my car and stood in the road facing the horse with my arms out, hoping to guide it into a narrow lane opposite. Instead, the horse veered off through an open gateway into a large field. I quickly closed the gate behind the animal, which soon turned round and headed back towards me and the gate.

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“I spoke quietly to the horse and calmed it down. It leaned over the gate as though wanting to be reassured, so I stroked its head and spoke calmly to it. The horse took a bite the hedgerow, then trotted off around the pasture, still looking agitated but less distressed.

The driver of the car in front of Mr Stephen, who was a fellow council colleague, had pulled over to tell police about the incident.

He added: “After getting the horse off the road, our main concern was for the safety of the rider.

The horse was very hot and sweaty, so it may have been loose for some time – or it might have been galloping with its rider and had only just unseated them. There was no way of knowing which of these was the true scenario.”