MALTA -- It took an estimated half-dozen police vehicles to wrangle three horses that got loose on East High Street Thursday afternoon, causing a spectacle around a major intersection for roughly an hour.
Police were still trying to determine who owns the horses Thursday afternoon. The animals -- wearing blankets and appearing to be in good health -- were not hurt in the incident, which began when state police were called at 1:12 p.m.
The horses were initially reported by residents on Damascus Way in the Travers Meadows development, and they were then followed to the intersection of East High Street and Route 9, where they headed south on the four-lane highway. They later wandered back north into the Steepchase townhouse development, visited an East High Street mobile home park and finally went back down to East High Street, with a several police vehicles in slow pursuit. At one point, a trooper tried to lure the horses with carrots.
The incident caused extensive traffic backups on East High Street and Route 9.
"It went on for a long time," said Paula Schultz, office manager at Showcase Homes, which is located near the intersection of East High Street and Route 9. "They were up and down the road and through the parking lots."
Schultz, who is a horse rider, said she contacted Burt Schwab of Union Coach Works in Saratoga Springs, who owns horses and knows how to rope and work with them. Schwab said he roped two of the horses, bringing the incident to an end.
"She called and told me some state troopers were following horses, but they looked like they could use a little help," Schwab said.
By the time Schwab arrived, troopers and Saratoga County sheriff's deputies had blocked the horses in at the East High Street bridge over the Northway, where guardrails also helped trap the animals. By then, he said, they were sweated up and tired.
"I was able to just walk up and put a halter on one, then someone gave me a rope and I was able to make another halter," he said. Another person captured the third horse.
Gazette photos from the scene showed the horses walking down streets and across lawns. One photo showed a horse rolling on the ground near a house. Other photos showed the horses walking with traffic stopped in the opposite direction and then down another road with trooper cars following slowly behind.
Photos: Troopers and Saratoga Sheriff's deputies corral the horses in Malta, Nov. 29, 2018
The horses were believed to come from either Raymond Road or Brownell Road, rural highways that are home to horse farms.
State Police spokeswoman Trooper Kerra Burns said incidents in which troopers have to deal with animals in roadways aren't particularly unusual.
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