Two horses have been moved to safety after running through traffic and across tram lines after escaping from a beach race on the Gold Coast. The horses were taking part in the event for the Magic Millions carnival on Tuesday morning when they broke free and bolted.
Videos on social media show the moment the horses narrowly avoid being hit by cars after running away from The Esplanade in Surfers Paradise. They also ran across a tram line and were lucky not to be seriously injured or killed.
"This is not good," an onlooker can be heard saying in one of the videos. "Oh my god, this is not good."
A police spokesperson said the horses escaped at about 8.40am after a jockey was thrown. They were later seen running through the northbound and southbound lanes of the Gold Coast Highway.
Photos uploaded to social media also show the horses casually strolling through suburban areas. Police said both horses were found “under control” in Alberta Place at about 8.50am and placed in a horse float.
Magic Millions spokesperson speaks out
A spokesperson for the Magic Millions said the horses and jockeys were unharmed and had been checked by vets and medics. She said: “The experienced jockeys were checked over by a medic and were also not injured."
Karen Phillips, a PR identity on the Gold Coast, shared a photo on Facebook of police in a buggie looking for the horses. Journalist Paul Syvret uploaded photos of the horses in his street and wrote: "Just had two escaped Magic Millions horses trotting down my street in Surfers Paradise. Not quite the normal traffic in our ‘hood."
The Magic Millions carnival begins with public events on the beach, where spectators watch jockeys and celebrities take part in mock races. The beach race determines the barrier draw for the official Magic Millions race, set to be held at the Gold Coast Turf Club on Saturday.
Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.