Racehorse names are often unremarkable, occasionally bizarre, but rarely prophetic. Yet just last week, the very aptly named “Rebel Rover” charted his own, defiant course while training in chest-high water on a Brisbane beach in Queensland.
After spooking on shore and tossing his jockey, the five-year-old racehorse proceeded not toward land but out to sea, covering about 1.25 miles across Bramble Bay before rescuers were able to catch up with him. Rebel was lassoed and pulled to the side of the police boat, where he was guided back to shallower waters. The whole ordeal took about 90 minutes.
Brisbane Water Police brought along Rebel’s jockey, who jumped on his back and rode him out of the bay. According to his trainer, Brad Smith, Rebel was examined by a vet upon his return to his farm, and besides being a bit sore and tired, he’s doing just fine.
Smith, who describes Rebel as a character and complimented his horse’s apparently extensive lung capacity, added that he’s likely to resume racing this month. Rebel Rover had only recently returned to competition after being banned from the tracks in Victoria for (other) misbehavior.