An Australian racehorse named Rebel Rover decided to take up a new hobby, after clearly being bored with his usual racing. He got away from his jockey, and went for a nearly seven-mile swim off of Brisbane’s Sandgate beach.

The rescue mission was on as soon as Rebel Rover hit the water. It took 90 minutes, but local water police and volunteers were able to get the horse to swim back to shallower waters and eventually rejoin his jockey on shore.

VMR Brisbane vs Rebel Rover – VMR Brisbane Inc | Facebook

On the 25th February 2016, VMR Brisbane was tasked by the Brisbane Water Police to help bring to shore a local racehorse Rebel Rover, which had bucked it’s trainer and headed out into the bay after it got spooked. After an hour and a half rescue, Rebel Rover made it to shore and is recovering after his ordeal.

Obviously, this doesn’t typically happen with racehorses. “We use swimming as part of most horses’ routine training program,” trainer Brad Smith told CNN, “However, this is in a controlled environment, in a pool and for no more than five to 10 minutes. It was a very unusual, quite a frightening occurrence.”

Of course, Rebel Rover didn’t get his name for no reason. “He is a horse who has had his problems,” Smith explained. “He is fairly highly strung and takes fright easily. We call him Rebel because that’s what he is. He is generally a nice horse to do anything with but is prone to erratic behavior in certain situations.”

Volunteer Marine Rescue Brisbane spokesman Glen Philip told CNN, “It really ranks as the number one strange save.” He added, “Most of our rescues are obviously boat or person related. This rescue was so different because we had to lasso the horse while keeping him as unstressed as possible.”

Hopefully, jockey Jackson Morris is able to keep a better grip on the horse next time. Or maybe Rebel Rover’s training should stick to the pool, and not near the beach.


About Harry Lyles Jr.

Harry Lyles Jr. is an Atlanta-based writer, and a Georgia State University graduate.