Two black Friesian horses belonging to carriage driver Philip Owen had a miraculous escape after the lorry transporting them – ironically to a veterinary surgery – overturned into a ditch in Surrey last week.

Despite needing heavy and repeated sedation to cut them free, the six-year-old stallion and five-year-old gelding escaped from the ordeal unscathed.

The horses were on route from their home in Cheshire to Westcoats Veterinary Clinic in Charlwood, Surrey. It took four fire crews to cut them free.

Five hours later, with superficial wounds, the horses loaded into another trailer to continue their journey to the vet clinic, where their recovery is being monitored.

“They have some muscle damage – but they should, by rights, be dead,” said Viki Anderson, owner of Westcoats, who helped with the rescue. “The fact that they loaded straight into a trailer after their ordeal was amazing.”

Philip Owen is a regular competitor in horse driving trials with his striking team of Friesians, and competed in the recent Windsor International Driving Grand Prix.

Read the full story in this week’s Horse & Hound (5 June), or click here to subscribe and enjoy Horse & Hound delivered to your door every week.