A HORSE was moments away from running into oncoming traffic when it escaped from a field - and a police officer says it is happening every week.

Just after noon last Wednesday (January 14) the horse escaped from a field off London Road in Stone and was walking along the pavement, in danger of bolting into the path of vehicles on the main road.

Fortunately 74-year-old Gordon Davis, who owns a stable in Bexley, was driving past at the time.

The Ashford resident said: “I was going past and I saw the horse had escaped, so I stopped my car and got out to make sure the horse didn’t run into the road, where it could have been hit by a car.”

Mr Davis formed a human barrier between the horse and the road, blocking its attempts to move onto the tarmac.

Two British Transport Police officers driving past saw Mr Davis with the horse and stopped to help, calling Kent Police’s PC John Kilvington for assistance.

The Stone neighbourhood beat officer is experienced in returning escaped horses to the field, where 11 are kept, because “recently they have been escaping about once a week”.

He called the owner of the horses, George King, and together they managed to manouevre it into a footpath off London Road and through a gate into the field.

PC Kilvington said it was likely the horse had escaped through a gate left open by a member of the public or a hole in the fence.

Stable owner Mr Davis believes the fence around the field is “too low” meaning “the horses can easily jump over it and get onto the main road”.

PC Kilvington said: “The horses generally get on the footpath but sometimes they head into the road.

“Fortunately there have been no accidents yet, because if a car going at 30 miles per hour hits a horse the driver could be killed.”

Frontiers Developments Ltd bought the field in October last year and a spokesman said it is planning to improve the fencing.

Kent County Council’s community warden for Stone Christine Bates said: “Horses escaping from fields has been an ongoing problem for five years.

Kent County Council, along with Dartford Council, Stone Parish Council and Kent Police is working to make sure those who own horses take full responsibility for their safety.”