An escape artist coloured cob has taken the internet by storm.

Nine-year-old Wurzel was being filmed during a free-schooling session when he decided to jump out of the arena over a five-bar gate, before galloping back to his friends.

Footage of Wurzel’s great escape was shared on social media and has been viewed 332,000 times.

His owner, West Sussex-based Becky Hall, was surprised by the reaction.

Her Facebook page Team Wurzenator, which tracks Wurzel’s progress, went from around 50 likes to more than 700 since the video was shared on 7 October.

Becky said this was not the first time the 15.1hh gelding has made like Houdini.

“Last year we got a call from our neighbours to say Wurzel was in their garden,” she said. “He had jumped the fence and was in there eating their lovely long grass.

“When we went to retrieve him, there was an awful lot of poo in there for one morning. From the look of his take-off and landing points, it looked like had been regularly visiting their garden and returning to ours for his breakfast and tea so I had been none the wiser!

“And apparently before I had him, he used to jump out of the field and go back to his stable for a snooze.”

Becky said Wurzel has always been cheeky and full of character.

“He knows his own strength and I have to lead him in a bridle at events or you just see me skiing around behind him shouting. ‘Wurzel, no, stop!’” she said.

“I used to have him on livery on an estate close to us. I would let him hand-graze at the side of the field when I went up to see him.

“Completely unknown to me there was a herd of Dartmoor ponies running free on the estate. One on occasion we were hand-grazing and the herd came running past the field.

“Wurzel took off, breaking free from me, and joined them. All I could see was a load of little brown ponies and this great big black and white cob in the middle!

“I screamed, ‘Wurzel, Wurzel, Wurzel’, frantically waving his feed bucket around. After about two laps of the field with the herd he left them and came rushing back to me as if to say, ‘That was fun Mum, now where’s my dinner?’”

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Becky has had Wurzel since he was four and the pair have enjoyed hunting, riding club camps, dressage and showjumping.

This year they tackled their first one-day-event and came first in the 60cm class.

“We by no means excel in any one category but we try and do things in our own cobby way!” said Becky.

“I want to try arena eventing over the winter and do more one-day-events next year, if he will let me.”

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