Horse led to water, keeps swimming

Horse led to water, keeps swimming

Australian racehorse Rebel Rover lived up to its name yesterday, after going rogue on a beach and swimming 2 kilometres out to sea.

The five-year-old gelding's 90-minute ocean adventure began when it was spooked during a training session in Bramble Bay, Brisbane, ABC News reports.

It sparked a rescue operation involving the Volunteer Marine Rescue (VMR) and the Brisbane Water Police.

The incident happened around 9am when the horse and its trainer Brad Smith were in chest-high water at Sandgate when it was startled and tipped its rider and then headed into deeper water.

VMR spokesman Glen Philip said the rescue was one of the weirdest they've had.

"When we got to the horse, he was in about four metres of water and he was swimming quite freely."

The boat had to jockey into position.

Horse led to water, keeps swimming


 (Volunteer Marine Rescue Brisbane / Facebook)

"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 its bridle," he said.

The police brought the horse's trainer out to help calm the animal, and managed to get back on and ride it back out of the water.

Mr Smith says horses are able to swim, but don't normally do it.

Horse led to water, keeps swimming

 (Volunteer Marine Rescue Brisbane / Facebook) 

"Any other horse, 20 minutes would probably see them out, but this horse -- he must have a pretty amazing lung capacity."

A vet has since checked and cleared Rebel Rover, and only seemed a little sore because of his marathon swim.

The horse has a history of troublemaking, only recently returning to the racetrack in Victoria following a ban for misbehaving in the barriers.