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Owner of mare loose on A23 appeals to thank lorry driver who helped save her

The owner of a brood mare who escaped on to a dual carriageway would like to find and thank the lorry driver whose quick thinking may have prevented a serious accident.

Brendon Stud mare Ganja was being weaned from her foal on Wednesday (21 October) when she made her way on to the A23, which runs past the stud on its way to Brighton, West Sussex.

Brendon’s Shirley Light told H&H the 15-year-old is an experienced brood mare who has had 10 or 11 foals weaned without any issues in the past.

“I think she just ran down the hill and ran out of room to stop, and went through the fence,” she said. “I don’t think she even attempted to jump.

“I was back at the stables watching the foals; we always do the easiest two first because they won’t do anything stupid, then we saw the traffic jam, and the mare cantering down the carriageway.

“I ran to the car, and turned into Lewis Hamilton!”

One of Shirley’s staff hurdled the central reservation and caught Ganja, who had been cantering coastbound but turned back.

Shirley took her back to the yard, where she was treated by a vet for cut back legs, and was lame in front, possibly from standing in a rabbit hole as she went through the fence.

“I led her off the road and it wasn’t till afterwards I realised I hadn’t thanked the driver; hadn’t even put my hand up,” she said. “She must have run out in front of him and he’d pulled across both carriageways to stop the traffic.

“It’s very probably down to him that I still have Ganja alive and no one was injured or worse. She did turn round, but would have gone straight into a car without him.

“I thought it would be really nice to find him and thank him; you never know, you can but try.”

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Shirley said her family has lived at the stud for over 53 years and never known anything like the incident.

“It just goes to show, you never know what’s going to happen,” she said. “But luckily, I’ve got a great team; every single one of them was totally switched on.”

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