Racehorse still missing a week after escaping onto MoD firing range

  • A trainer whose racehorse ran loose onto a military firing range last week is beginning to fear the worst.

    Trainer Philip Sharp is appealing for information after Zimbabwe threw his rider on Camber Sands in Kent last Friday (8 January), and ran onto Ministry of Defence property.

    The horse has not been seen since.

    Zimbabwe, who won six races from 22 starts — including the 2003 Irish Cesarwitch while he was in training with John Oxx — ran onto the 22-square mile site that reportedly contains several unexploded bombs.

    “We went to Camber Sands as the heavy snow left us with nowhere to train. But then the horse unseated his rider and bolted onto the firing range,” Mr Sharp told H&H.

    “We didn’t follow him as it said ‘danger, keep out’ on the fence so called the police from the beach.

    “But when they arrived the police were not allowed onto the property to catch the horse. The security company was extremely unhelpful. They saw the horse on CCTV but wouldn’t let us in to get him. Now he hasn’t been seen for over a week.”

    The site, which has a 12ft fence around it, has several ditches and heavy brush.

    Mr Sharp, who has owned Zimbabwe for a year and a half, has made appeals on local TV and radio stations.

    “We rebelled and illegally looked around the property last weekend, but an army search party went round on Monday and found nothing.

    “He could have run out the beach side, which is not fenced, but we probably would have found him by now.

    It’s highly unlikely we’ll find him now though, they’ve been shooting there all week. He’s either dead in brush or has been found somewhere and then stolen, he’s a good looking dark bay horse and was a good runner in his day.”

    The horse is 16hh and is microchipped.

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