Riders competing at the inaugural North West Three Day bicycle race in and around Derry last weekend were given the fright of their lives after a huge white horse bolted a fence to join them on the road.
Cyclists were half way through a gruelling first day heat, beginning at Foyle Arena and finishing in the hilly Campsy area of the city, when the incident occurred on an unnamed road between Raphoe and St Johnston in County Donegal.
Leading A4 class riders, both men and women competing for amateur clubs from across Northern Ireland were quite literally stopped in their tracks as the horse leaped a barrier just 10 feet ahead of the primary peloton.
Sports cameraman Jonny Collins was on hand to capture the dramatic events as they unfolded, and kept his camera rolling as the horse continued to gallop towards him and his colleagues a quarter of a mile further along the route.
Finally, after race officials had managed to manoeuvre the horse into a neighbouring field and lock the gate behind it, the race recommenced.
"If the horse had bolted even five seconds earlier than it did, it could have been absolute carnage out there," said the Foyle Cycling Club and press relations officer Thomas McLaughlin. "It literally jumped out 10 feet ahead of the lead riders. Looking at the video footage now, it seems quite funny, but actually it could have been much more serious."