Horse bolts for freedom day before the snip

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By Oliver Farrimond

A RACEHORSE made a dramatic bid for freedom on the M8 – just hours before he was due to be castrated.

Frisky mount Trade Price had finished third at 20-1 hours earlier in a race at Musselburgh racecourse, before he leaped into the front section of the horsebox.

After its driver pulled into the hard shoulder near Hermiston Gate on the outskirts of Edinburgh, vets were called to sedate the horse so he could be cut free after trapping himself.

Fire crews then cut through the partition with a special saw.

Trainer Ian Semple, 61, said that the three-year-old horse had been unusually spirited in recent races and that he had decided to castrate him.

And he joked that was the reason behind his great escape attempt.

Semple, boss of Belstane Racing Stables in Carluke, said: “He’s a very spirited animal and we recently decided to castrate him – the operation’s due today.

“It does look like he made a bold bid for freedom – either that or he was trying to drive the horsebox away himself.

“Although it does occasionally happen, he’s never done this before and it’s very scary as he was more or less in with the drivers.

“He ended up in the front section where the jockeys sometimes sit, and had his head looking out of their window when the horsebox had to pull over.

“He’s alright now though – I’ve cut myself worse shaving.”

Racehorse trainers often decide to castrate horses that are difficult to handle before and after races to calm them down.

Trade Price – a three-year-old horse who received his first placed finish at the 21.25 race at Musselburgh just before the incident – has only been with Carluke-based Semple for six weeks.

He said: “It’s the first race he’s placed in and obviously we’re very pleased with him.

“We’ve had some trouble controlling him at races recently though so it’s the best thing for him to calm him down.

“I couldn’t say how painful it is, but he’ll be walking again by this evening and hopefully able to run in three weeks.”

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