IT’S neigh place for a horse to trot around.
Bosses at Wearside Golf Club, in Coxgreen, were left stunned when they spotted the unattended animal on their second hole.
Course manager Malcolm Harvey was carrying out his early morning inspection when he came across the “tell-tale signs” of the surprise visitor. “It was still dark and couldn’t see very well, but I could just about make out what looked like a hedgehog,” he said. “It was only when I got closer that I realised it was something the horse had left behind.
“When I looked around, there it was.
“I got the shock of my life.”
After making sure the animal was uninjured, staff managed to coax it into a makeshift pen.
“We made sure it was okay and contacted the police,” he said. “Nobody has any idea where it came from or who it belongs to. We checked the local farms and nobody there knows anything about it.”
However, despite spending hours wandering the course prior to its discovery, the horse appears to have done little damage.
“There are one or two hoof prints and a bit of manure, but nothing too serious,” said Malcolm. “It’s not ideal, having a horse wandering around the course, but we managed to confine it to the one area.”
After being found earlier this month, the animal, which was feared to have been dumped at the course, was kept on the site until alternative accommodation was arranged for it a couple of days later.
“It took us quite a while to get it into the horse box,” said Malcolm. “It must have been very nervous. We just don’t know if it has found its own way on to the course from somewhere nearby or if it has been left here by someone.
“It is quite difficult to get on to the course.
“There aren’t many entrances, so it would have been difficult for it to just wander down here.
“However, if it has been reported missing, hopefully it has been chipped and its rightful owner can be found.”
Northumbria Police confirmed they were called to the incident and helped arrange for a rescue charity to collect the horse.
A spokesman said: “Police were informed that a horse had been seen at Wearside Golf Club.
“Officers attended and arranged for a pony rescue charity to take the animal in as the owner had not been located.”