An Australian racehorse who unseated his rider during a dip in the sea and set off on a marathon swim has been returned safely to shore.
The horse, a 5-year-old gelding named Rebel Rover, swam an estimated two kilometres offshore in Brisbane’s Moreton Bay before being successfully shepherded back to dry land.
The incident happened on Thursday morning at Sandgate, when Rebel Rover and his rider were wading in chest-deep water during a beach ride. Something startled him and he unseated his rider before heading for deeper water.
Before long, Rebel Rover was swimming across Bramble Bay toward Redcliffe.
Volunteer Marine Rescue Brisbane mobilised for the 90-minute rescue. When their vessel reached Rebel Rover, he was making good headway in about four metres of water.
They carefully manoeuvred their boat close to him and managed to get a rope around his head, which meant they could pull him even closer and attach a rope to his bridle.
The Brisbane Water Police ferried Rebel Rover’s rider out to the scene in the hopes of keeping him settled.
The marine rescue personnel shepherded Rebel Rover towards the shore and, once he had his feet on the seabed, the rider was able to pop back on and ride him out of the water near Woody Point.
It is estimated that Rebel Rover had a two-hour swim before he finally waded from the water.
He is now enjoying a little rest time to recover from his ordeal.