A herd of horses ran free in Chula Vista before Border Patrol vehicles herded them to the Olympic Training on Wednesday afternoon.
Eleven horses were first spotted by a news helicopter running down Olympic Parkway shortly after 5 p.m. The horses were from the OK Corral in Otay Mesa. At least five Border Patrol vehicles chased down the animals, eventually herding them onto the property of the Olympic Training Center.
Chula Vista police spokesman Bernard Gonzalez said the department had received reports of as many as 20 horses running wild in Eastlake, with a single cowboy chasing the herd.
Shortly after 5:30, officials said that the herd's owner had arrived at the training center and was attempting to corral the horses and bring them back to his ranch. A cowboy was spotted with a lasso riding up to the training center about 10 minutes later. The horses, though, had other ideas, and ran around the training center with the cowboy giving chase.
The cowboy followed the horses until they approached Otay Lakes, where they turned away from the water and entered an area that appeared to be fenced in. The animals appeared to slow, but then put on a burst of speed and raced away from him again on a long road, escaping the fenced-in area. The cowboy gave chase again, staying with the herd as they approached more mountainous terrain.
At that point, the cowboy was joined by five other people on horseback, and the mounted riders coordinated their efforts to regain control of the herd. Several of the horses were soon captured, including the lead one, and a short time later all of the animals were recaptured.
One San Diego Humane Society worker said the chase and the chaos made things worse. "The helicopter and people chasing the horses made it more of a rampage instead of letting the horses settle," said DJ Gove.
Among the horses captured were two colts with minor injuries.