An early morning encounter with a stray Shetland pony has left its would-be rescuer the worse for wear after the wily beast ran him ragged in Mt Clear.
Shift worker Daniel Boyle was returning from work in his car at 4.30am on Wednesday when he almost struck what he thought was a Great Dane in Bradby Avenue near Mt Clear College.
“’What’s a Great Dane doing in the middle of the road?’ I thought,” Mr Boyle told The Courier.
“It was enormous. Then I saw it had a bridle and I thought, ‘Hang on, that’s not a dog.’”
Eager to do the right thing, Mr Boyle pulled over and walked over to the tiny horse, thinking he would lead it to safety. The Shetland obliged by slowly trotting alongside Mr Boyle, who was still wearing his gumboots from work, he said.
The pony suddenly bolted, and Mr Boyle duly gave chase.
“I thought, ‘it’s got four legs, but I’ve got two – it can’t be that fast.’ Well, it was insane how fast that pony was. I swear it must be descended from Usain Bolt,” Mr Boyle said.
He nevertheless chased the recalcitrant creature up and down the avenue for 40 minutes. Each time he got near, it would switch back past him and run back along the road. Pausing to get a drink from the car after the ordeal, Mr Boyle decided a call for assistance was warranted.
“I’m not a marathon runner,” Mr Boyle admitted.
“I decided it was time to enlist some help, and called the boys in blue. They did laugh when I phoned it in, but two police cars arrived. They told me I could go home, but I watched them for a little while to see if they had any better luck. The last I saw they were using the two cars to try and catch it. I went home and collapsed on the couch.”
Ben Jones of Ballarat Police said the incident was recorded as having occurred, but there was no record of the Shetland being apprehended at this point.
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