Essex

Uni gives Chelmsford escape horses 'hay-plus' for effort

Horses in Chelmsford Image copyright James Taylor
Image caption The five horses stopped for a snack outside a sandwich chain in Chelmsford

Five horses brought traffic to standstill in a busy town centre after breaking free from a field and cantering around the streets.

They were spotted in Bishop Hall Lane, Chelmsford, stopping for a bite to eat in the bushes outside a sandwich shop.

They escaped at about 10:00 BST on Wednesday, but were safely rounded up later, as Essex Live first reported.

Staff helping out from "neigh-bouring" Anglia Ruskin University gave them a "hay-plus" for their escape effort.

The horses are thought to have broken free from a field near the university before going on a trot about town.

Image copyright James Taylor
Image caption The horses stopped to eat in quite a few places...
Image copyright James Taylor
Image caption ...And at one point appeared to be contemplating continuing their trip by bus

Subway store manager James Taylor told the BBC he was with customers when he did a "double-take".

"A bit randomly, there were five horses eating the bushes outside.

"Everyone stopped to watch, then suddenly they bolted and ended up in the car park outside the local gym."

Image copyright Anglia Ruskin University
Image caption The horses took a wander around the Anglia Ruskin University student accommodation

Probably a little tired and hot by then, the horses were rounded up near the aptly-named Sweat gym.

Essex Police said the great escape was "not a police matter" and "we assisted the owners and helped get the horses back into their field".

The incident led to much horsing around on social media, with one person commenting: "The horse thing is as big as it gets here in Chelmsford."

Another added it was "proof that Chelmsford isn't a one horse town after all."

Image copyright Google
Image caption The horses took a break outside a sandwich shop before heading for the gym

A spokesman for the university, added: "It's fair to say [these] visitors caught us on the hoof.

"The horses had managed to escape from a nearby field and were soon rounded up and led back by their owner.

"Although they didn't get far, we have to give them a 'hay-plus' for effort."

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