Runaway horse surprises motorists with dash down a Southern California highway

Drivers on Highway 101 in Southern California got a shock Sunday when a riderless runaway horse, saddle and all, joined them for a dash down the freeway, KFMB reported.

Chasing this horse up the highway,” said Leora Langs, who captured video of the horse, KSWB reported. “It was unbelievable.”

The Arabian horse, named Bliss, galloped 6 miles down the highway in the 11:30 a.m. incident before being injured in a collision with a vehicle in Encinitas, according to the station.

Bliss suffered chest injuries but is in stable condition with a long recovery expected, according to a GoFundMe account started to help pay for the horse’s care.

The incident started when riders taking part in a 20-mile conditioning ride took their horses into the ocean near Del Mar, the GoFundMe reports.

Bliss panicked, threw her rider and first swam out to sea.

“A surfer came and tried to get the horse back to shore,” Langs said, KSWB reported. “The horse bolted right past the trainer.”

Bliss dashed onto the nearby freeway and galloped against traffic for about 30 minutes before colliding with the vehicle, the GoFundMe says.

“Tough day at the beach,” Langs wrote in another Facebook post.

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Don Sweeney has been a newspaper reporter and editor in California for more than 25 years. He has been a real-time reporter based at The Sacramento Bee since 2016.