JEFFREY COLTON PHOTO
Frank Arnold and Southold Town Police Officer Dave Hunstein
walk two ponies safely back to a property on South Harbor Lane
last Thursday morning.
A caretaker of land on South Harbor Lane in Southold was able to corral two ponies that had escaped from the property Thursday, averting a potential repeat of a crash that saw two horses killed in December.
After noticing the horses were gone, Frank Arnold, 60, called police about 3:30 a.m., athorities said. The officer on the scene located the animals near the corner of Main Bayview and Grange Road and followed them in his patrol car as they wandered for about half a mile east on Route 25, police said.
Two more officers and two civilian motorists were able to surround the horses with vehicles at the intersection of Route 25 and Jasmine Lane until Mr. Arnold came to walk them safely back to South Harbor Road, police said.
Mr. Arnold said he happened to be up early, checking on a chicken coop on the property when he saw the ponies were missing.
“I’ve been having a problem with a weasel getting into the chicken coop,” he said. “So I was up at around 3:30 in the morning to check on the status when I noticed they were gone.”
Mr. Arnold said he then immediately called the police for some help to corral the animals before traffic got too bad. He said that he was afraid of a repeat of the gruesome accident on Sound Avenue in Mattituck last December, when a Mattituck woman struck and killed two thoroughbreds as she was driving to work at 5:30 a.m. Those horses had wandered away from Strawberry Fields, a property about a mile from the accident site. The animals were killed on impact and the woman’s Toyota SUV was totalled.
“There weren’t too many cars on the road that early, fortunately,” Mr. Arnold said, adding that the fencing the horses were able to nudge their way out of has since been secured.
“I learned my lesson,” he said. “I don’t expect this to happen again.”