A few months ago Australian jockey, Jackson Morris, was exercising race horse, Rebel Rover along Brisbane’s Sandgate beach. The horse spooked dumping his jockey in the sand. He then leaped into the waters of Moreton Bay and headed out to sea.

The 5-year-old Thoroughbred swam 11 kilometers (6.8 miles) while the Brisbane Marine Rescue attempted to secure him safely to their boat.

“The squadron has been involved in some hair-raising tasks. Most of our rescues are obviously boat or person related. This rescue was so different because we had to lasso the horse while keeping him as unstressed as possible” explained Glen Philip, spokesman for the rescue.

Rebel Rover swam for 90 minutes and was finally guided back to shallow waters where his jockey remounted and rode him out of the water. However, he still had plenty of spark post-swim head butting one of his support team, knocking him unconscious and sending him to the hospital.

Brad Smith is Rebel Rover’s trainer and confessed to reporters that the horse has a reputation for mischievous behavior. He had recently been banned from the track for “playing up” in the stalls.

“He is fairly highly strung and takes fright easily…and is prone to erratic behavior in certain situations.”

Secured back at the track, Rebel Rover was thoroughly checked by a vet who gave a good report. He was put out in the yard to walk freely to minimize what the vet anticipated would be some muscle soreness in the coming days.

“We put him out in one of our yards, and he wanted to buck and play and carry on. The swim didn’t seem to affect him at all.” Smith remarked.


Rebel Rover’s infamy for being a “stinker” at the track found a global audience with news agencies around the world reporting on his sea-worthy antic. But he’s a race horse with a job and returned to the track a few months later. He placed 4th earning $900 most certainly used for swimming lessons.

Photos Courtesy: CNN.com and Slickpix. Edited from the Following Sources: http://edition.cnn.com/2016/03/04/sport/racehorse-rebel-rover-australia-brisbane-rescue/, https://www.racing.com/news/2016-04-13/rebel-rover-trades-flippers-for-race-shoes, http://www.racingpost.com/news/horse-racing/australia-rebel-rover-decides-to-run-away-to-sea/2038156/#newsArchiveTabs=last7DaysNews.