This was fair week, and I trailered Arthur back in yesterday for Championships. He did really well; we got Grand Champion in our equitation class and Reserve Champion in our pleasure class. We put him in the trailer with hay after he was cooled out and went to have a late dinner in our 4-H barn. Shut the gates securely and made sure the chest and butt bars were up.
We came back to the trailer to load up our things and go home, but found that several cars had blocked us in in front of and behind us. We went to the announcer's booth and had them describe the cars, asking that they be moved, and decided to wait it out watching the Versatility class when no one came forward to move the cars.
Half an hour or so into watching the class, the announcer came on and said there was a loose horse in the highway off the fair entrance. Never thinking it could be ours, we went to the parking lot to help catch the horse, as it was getting dark, and it's everyone's nightmare for their horse to be running along a busy highway at night.
I glanced at our trailer while we jogged down the drive and found it empty (stock trailer, couldn't see a horse through the slats). Panicking, we went to the trailer and found that Arthur was gone and the door was locked securely, butt bar up and all.
We immediately told the mounted patrol, who were everywhere looking for this horse, that it was ours and that someone had let him out. The fair was letting out, and there were hundreds of cars pushing past out the entrance. The sheriff found us and told us that people were calling in from their cars saying there was a loose horse running on the street and adjoining railroad tracks.
My mom and I caught a ride from the groundskeeper in their golf cart and rode down the driveway, asking people in cars if they had seen the loose horse. The mounted patrol horses were riding alongside the highway trying to find him. We kept calling out for him, panic-stricken that our one-eyed 25-yr old was going to be hit by a car that he couldn't see, and eventually we saw him bolt down the street and across the railroad tracks when he heard us call. He came right up to me, and I led him, covered in sweat, back to the parking lot.
From what we can gather, someone let him out, thinking it would be funny, and he ran towards the street. The police say he spooked at their strobe lights (directing traffic) and ran through the yards of the businesses and houses on the highway before coming back to the road and running down the middle, trying to find a place to cross over.
He was very hot and spooky, but thankfully had no heat or signs of injury to his legs. No scrapes, either. It was absolutely a miracle that he wasn't injured.
My half-blind 25-yr old winning Grand and Reserve Champion yesterday afternoon: