AN ESCAPED competition horse was rescued safely during a south Wiltshire endurance event, thanks to the efforts of two persistent marshals.

Ted Spires and Reuben Alcock were marshalling the Wiltshire Droves Endurance Event, which started from Salisbury Racecourse, over the Easter weekend when the horse was startled by a car, threw its rider and bolted from the scene of the accident.

The rider suffered a fractured shoulder from the fall, but was more worried about her horse as a horse died after a similar incident last year. It had bolted after a fall and was not found until several days later.

Spires and Alcock, TRF (Trail Riders Fellowship) motorcyclists, set off on their bikes in search of the missing animal and found fresh hoof prints at the start of a bridleway.

They followed the trail for several miles but lost any sign of the horse at the edge of a field. Luckily for the animal and its owner, they persevered and after over an hour of searching, and with extra help from local farmers, found the horse tangled in undergrowth at the edge of the field.

Mr Spires freed it and walked the two miles back to the road where the owner had arranged for the animal to be collected.

Liz Hinings, who organises the event, said: "Trail riding motorcyclists receive a certain amount of criticism in this area, but we could not run this event without their kind assistance."