SINGAPORE – The Singapore Turf Club’s impending closure has already prompted some racehorse trainers to begin exploring new employment, while its thoroughbreds face the prospect of being homeless.
On Saturday (July 8), some motorists on the Bukit Timah Expressway (BKE) may well have thought one horse was already seeking greener pastures.
In a video circulated on Saturday, a brown horse with a white streak on its face and a saddle on its back is seen weaving through lanes and halting traffic as it gallops on the BKE, at one point turning to face oncoming cars head on, forcing motorists to come to a halt.
In another video, the horse is seen being safely escorted off the road near an exit towards Turf Club Avenue by a Land Transport Authority official.
A Singapore Turf Club spokesman said: “We are aware that a horse belonging to Bukit Timah Saddle Club found its way outside its stable and onto the roads briefly. It has since been returned safely to its stable.”
The Straits Times checked with Bukit Timah Saddle Club, which declined to comment.
After 72 years occupying 51 Fairways Drive, riding school Bukit Timah Saddle Club moved to new grounds at the Singapore Turf Club (STC) in Kranji in February to make way for the Cross Island MRT line. It took with it 78 horses.
There have been multiple incidents of horses wandering onto roads in Singapore.
In August 2021, a horse stopped traffic in Vanda Link by trotting at a leisurely pace in front of multiple vehicles.
In April 2020, a white mare named Cocorita made its way onto Eng Neo Avenue, trotting next to cars for around 20 minutes.
The mare was trying to find her way back to her stable at Paisano Polo Academy in Turf Club Road, her owner Ronnie Lim said then.
The latest runaway horse drew some tongue-in-cheek comments from netizens questioning its right to use the expressway.
Facebook user Khalid Hilmi asked whether it would be liable to pay Electronic Road Pricing charges, while others said that the horse may have been headed for “interviews” to find its next job after being “retrenched”.
Singapore’s Ministry of Finance said in June that the STC will close its facility by March 2027, with the last race scheduled to take place in October 2024.