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November 9, 2010

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Officer turns cowboy in horse escape drama

BEFORE a railway train whizzed through, police officer Cui Shirong grabbed the reins of a startled horse, using all his strength to stop it from running onto the tracks.

Surprised onlookers saw the horse, with no saddle or rider, galloping down the city's suburban highways and approaching a rail track early on Saturday.

"I said to myself, as well as to the horse, 'Don't not kick me'," said Cui when recalling the movie-like drama.

"It's lucky that the horse finally slowed down," he added.

The horse had escaped earlier from a movie shoot in the suburban Songjiang District on Saturday morning, when it was spooked by the noise of guns and cannons during filming and suddenly broke through barriers and ran east onto a nearby highway.

It became even more startled after its right hind leg was hit by a passing truck, a witness said.

The horse then changed direction and ran towards the railway tracks, about 2 kilometers away from where the movie was being filmed.

Cui was on duty in his office when he heard the sound of the horse and the shouts of railway workers. "All I thought about was stopping the horse," said Cui, who knew a train would pass soon.

The brave officer managed to grab the reins and tried to gain control of the horse.

"It kept running but it slowed down after about 50 meters," said Cui, who then pulled the horse to an open area next to his office after the animal had calmed down.

Cui has been a police officer for about 30 years, but has never ridden a horse before.

Zhou Xinyi, the horse handler, promised an escape like that wouldn't happen again.


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