• Kyodo

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A runaway race horse collided with a car on a highway in Ichinomiya, Aichi Prefecture, on Saturday morning, breaking the front window of the vehicle but leaving the 33-year-old driver uninjured, police said.

Police said the incident occurred at around 5:40 a.m. after the horse — Nice Ticket — suddenly bolted from a stable hand after kicking him in the stomach as it was being led out of its stable for morning training at the racetrack in the town of Kasamatsu, Gifu Prefecture. The stable hand, 20, sustained minor injuries.

The 3-year-old thoroughbred then headed south along National Road 22 and reached neighboring Aichi Prefecture after crossing the Shin-Kisogawa Bridge on the Kiso River. It then collided head-on with the car, but continued its flight.

Racing track staff recaptured the beast at 6:20 a.m. in Ichinomiya — about 3 km from where it had broken free — and returned it to the stable, according to police. The horse’s front left leg is injured, they added.

Some 740 horses are kept at stables near the Kasamatsu Racetrack and the track’s operators apologized for causing a problem to the public. They promised to step up measures to prevent a similar incident occurring.

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