It takes a lot of horsepower to weather the evening commute.
Two Suffolk Punch draft horses escaped from their Littleton farm and stopped traffic on Route 2 in Acton during Tuesday’s rush hour.
The horses, named Jack and Molly, were out on a grassy field at Gilmerton Farm that afternoon, but their owner, Pamela Campbell, suspected they started playing with the electrically charged fence surrounding their enclosure. They ended up knocking it over, trotting down the road, and jumping over the guardrail into traffic, she said.
“The fence has a very low charge, but it’s pulsed,” said Campbell, 68, who has been operating the farm since 1992. “Usually it’s enough to make them jump back, but sometimes what happens is when they jump back, they knock it loose from the post . . . If I wanted to be gracious, I would say they did it accidentally, but they may have been bored and just started playing with it.”
Drivers began reporting the two riderless horses disrupting traffic on the westbound side of the highway shortly before 6 p.m., according to State Police.
When Campbell finally arrived, she was relieved to see officials had corraled them toward the median strip with makeshift halters, she said.
“The horses were just standing there enjoying the attention,” Campbell said. “And when I walked them back, you would’ve thought they were just out for a Sunday stroll. They walked back perfectly.”
Campbell suspected Molly, who is 4 years old, was responsible for leading the chase.
“In the horse world, 4 is still fairly young, so she’s pretty inquisitive and interested in getting into trouble,” she said. “She’s definitely the ringleader.”
Jack — 8 years old — is “very calm and very sweet-tempered,” she added.
When the horses returned home, Campbell said they were exhausted from the day’s excitement, but perfectly safe and sound.
“They went straight into their stalls and fell sound asleep,” she said. “It was the first time I actually had to wake them up for dinner.”Elise Takahama can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @elisetakahama. Danny McDonald can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @Danny__McDonald.