Lucky escape: Ellis Park debutante Bold And Bossy rescued after running loose on the highway

Horse Racing Bold And Bossy runaway horse
Bold And Bossy: two-year-old filly is recovered by rescuers after escaping from Ellis Park

By Jon Lees

USA: An unraced two-year-old filly was lucky to avoid being hit by traffic after escaping from Ellis Park racecourse and onto the highway.

Bold And Bossy was due to make her debut for owner-trainer Michael Ann Ewing at the Kentucky track but unseated jockey Miguel Mena during the post parade, ran off the track, crossed the levee on the perimeter and reached the busy interstate before being apprehended.

She was finally caught near a water treatment plant in a rescue effort led by local trainers Wes Hawley and Jack Hancock and returned to the barn area by horse ambulance, having galloped more than two miles.

“This scenario is the last thing you think of when they go to their first race, a two-year-old baby race,” said Ewing, who was not at the races. “You think of all the silly baby things that are going to go wrong. I didn’t think this. Thank God for all the people who jumped in to go find her because she left town.

“Thank God she wasn’t hit. For all that, and she ran a long way, she was just missing a couple of shoes. She did ‘grab a quarter’ (where a hind hoof knocks some flesh off the heel of a front foot), but it’s not bad. Most severely, she was ‘tying up’ (cramping) when they caught her, and she’s really dehydrated.”

He added: “She’s not lame. No (broken) bones or stitches needed, probably traumatized mentally, but she’s going to be fine. We’ll have our own vets check her out and monitor her, and after a few days to make sure everything is good I’ll probably give her some time on the farm. But thank God she’s fine.”

Hancock said he had seen Bold And Bossy come down the backside, jump a rail to enter the barn area and then evade efforts to catch her before escaping onto the highway.

“So we jumped in the vehicles and started chasing her then,” he said. “She went out on the highway. She went on 41 and then she took an exit when up I-69 on the bypass, came back on Veterans Memorial Parkway, headed back toward Waterworks Road. 

“So we went down 69 to the quickest place we could turn around, and headed in behind her. All the time we’re hoping she didn’t get hit by a car. Along the way she ended up on the other side of the highway from where we were. 

“A gentleman and his wife caught her. When we got to her, we took the tack off. I had a lead shank with me and put the shank on her. We checked her out pretty good while we were there. Superficial cuts, a little bit of blood. But all in all, she was in great shape for what happened.”

He added: “I’ve been here all my life and I’ve never seen one to do a run like this, not that far and not that much highway. They usually don’t go over the levee.”

• Visit the Ellis Park website

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