An Australian racehorse Rebel Rover took a dramatic turn when he spooked, got rid of his rider and swam out to sea. He has survived a two-hour swim, covering 11km, during a training run on a Sandgate beach in Brisbane.
The five-year-old gelding was rescued after 7- mile ocean swim by Brisbane Water police and volunteers as it paddled into deeper waters. They were impressed with horse’s endurance.
Rover’s trainer Brad Smith said”It’s not normal at all,” he added. “We use swimming as part of most horses routine training program however this is in a controlled environment, in a pool and for no more than 5-10 minutes. It was a very unusual quite a frightening occurrence”.
“Any other horse, 20 minutes would probably see them out, but this horse – he must have a pretty amazing lung capacity,” he said.
After the rescue boat had helped Rebel Rover back into shallow waters, he was ridden out of water by his jockey Jackson Morris.
Smith said. “The horse is known for his rather mischievous manner”, he said
“He is a horse who has had his problems,” he says. “He is fairly highly strung and takes fright easily.
“We call him Rebel because that’s what he is. He is generally a nice horse to do anything with but is prone to erratic behavior in certain situations.”
“He was in about four metres of water and he was swimming quite freely,” said Volunteer Marine Rescue’s Glen Philip. He said he had never seen anything like it in all his time with the unit.
“Luckily we were able to manoeuvre our boat close to him and get a lasso around the top of his head which meant we could pull him nice and close to our boat and put a rope on his bridle.”
“We do lots of training for most situations but putting it all together to make it all work was a task in itself.” He said.
The horse, who has a history of misbehaviour. He is due to return to the track next month, having only recently made a comeback after being banned for playing up in the stalls. Rebel has won three of his 12 races.