Horse on the loose in central Christchurch

  • 24/03/2013

It's a tall tale that's got the residents of Christchurch talking. Social media has been buzzing this weekend, with reports of a mystery horse spotted in central city coffee shops, supermarkets, and even drive-throughs.Grainy cell phone video taken of the horse is Polytech student Nickolas Baldwin's proof he's seen the mystery horse of Christchurch.

"We were just going to a concert and we got there early, and we saw this horse walking down the main street," says Mr Baldwin. "And there was a guy towing him on his bike, his pushbike."

Cantabrians have been tweeting and posting their sightings of the urban horse, so 3 News decided to hunt it down. Fresh dumping at Hagley Park showed we were on the right track but a little late.

Coffee shop C1 Expresso was our next port of call, after hearing it had welcomed the equine celebrity, named Beautifoal, last week.

"We have a diverse customer base, so that includes those with the long faces," says café worker Sam Crofskey.

Customers have reported seeing it getting a drink at a fast food drive-through, along with sightings at a nearby supermarket and TAB.

But it was beside the Bridge of Rememberance we found Beautifoal and her minder, Richard Hayden, giving rides to brave passersby.

Forty-five-year-old Hayden has been forced to move to Christchurch temporarily from Blenheim as part of his bail conditions after allegedly assaulting a police officer.

"I'm curfewed in town at the moment, so got no option – got to bring the transport into town," says Hayden.

He says his three-year-old horse loves the liveliness of the city, but also needs her green grass.

It's understood police may be looking into the legalities of whether Beautifoal can continue to live in the CBD, but for now Hayden's just happy to be bringing a bit of colour and a few smiles to the central city.

3 News

source: newshub archive