February 19, 2009

French military horse goes on Paris run

Garibaldi is normally a mild-mannered steed but threw his French Republican Guard rider and took off through the streets of Paris.

The 15-year-old horse galloped through several intersections late Wednesday morning with police cars trailing him, the BBC reported. He suffered slight injuries in several falls during the 15-minute escapade along the River Seine, police said.

There was no way of stopping him -- he wanted to get to his stables, Lt.-Col. Pierre Rousseau said.

The Sun reported Garibaldi's run has become an Internet sensation with Le Parisien garnering 6,000 hits within an hour of the video being posted on its Web site.

The incident began during a routine patrol at the Elysee Palace, the official home of President Nicholas Sarkozy.

Police said Garibaldi galloped to the Place de la Concorde from the Elysee before heading to the river. As he approached the Louvre, he skidded and fell to avoid hitting a parked truck.

As he approached city hall, a policewoman leaned out of a squad car window and managed to stop him, The Sun said.

Rousseau said Garibaldi is normally well-disciplined and with 10 years of loyal service, no disciplinary action is expected to be taken, The Sun reported.