VIDEO: $10k horse taken on drunken joyride into pub
A MOTHER and daughter were shocked to learn their horse that went missing at Saturday's night's rodeo was ridden into the Jockey Club Hotel in a drunken joyride.
Louisa Corbet, whose daughter competed in the junior barrel racing at the Gympie Bull n Bronc on Saturday night, spent 45 minutes in increasing panic looking for her daughter's horse in the dark before it turned up.
Max, a registered quarter horse worth $10,000, had been tied to a float at the Gympie Showgrounds for about 20 minutes after competing, when the Corbet's noticed him missing about 9pm.
It was only when Mrs Corbet received anonymous footage of a man riding a horse on the veranda of the Jockey Club Hotel, they learnt their quiet Max was the star of drunken prank at the nearby pub.
After weaving between tables, chairs and past people yahooing, the video shows the rider pick up pace and cross the road, where the horse was possibly left before it turned up tied to another float in the showgrounds.
"I could not believe it wasn't a joke," Mrs Corbet said when told about the incident.
"So much could have gone wrong.
"Not only could he (Max) have been killed, the rider could have been killed or the driver of a vehicle.
"It's a 600kg horse, it's not going to be pretty."
She said she could not fathom how in a huge crowd of people still at the event, the whole incident went unreported by witnesses.
"(He was) riding away from the show grounds - with nothing but a halter on the horse - that could have been a legitimate horse thief and my horse long gone.
"I'm embarrassed that it happened in my own town. Traditionally it's a really good environment."
Mrs Corbet said the change of entrance for competitor parking had meant horse floats were mixed in with public parking.
She said the pleasure ride could have injured and ruined the seven-year-old palomino gelding who competes every weekend with her daughter.
"He's not a toy - he's a valuable athlete.
"And he's invaluable to Libby, they are joined at the hip."
"I don't know when society stopped having respect for other people's things."
The incident was reported to police.
The Gympie Show Society has been sought for comment about the change to competitor parking.