Coyotes Spooked Horses at Watchung Stables, Officials Say

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Coyotes like this one are being cited as the cause of the horse stampede at Watchung Stables in the Watchung Reservation.
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Watchung Stables have been open in Union County since 1933.
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The 30 horses that broke loose Monday evening from the Watchung Stables were spooked by coyotes, a spokesperson said. Credits: S.Zecca
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MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ — The 30 horses that escaped from the Watchung Stables Monday night did so after they were spooked by coyotes, a spokesperson for Union County said Tuesday.

The horses were in the outdoor paddocks at the time, he said. It is believed that one of the horses "knocked down a rail on the split rail fence and went through the fence," he said. The escape took place about 8:40 p.m.

The horses were rounded up within 20 to 30 minutes and only one horse was injured — "a minor injury to its foot," which is being treated, according to the spokesperson.

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The entire staff of the stables was available to help round up the horses as well as police officers from Mountainside, Springfield, Berkeley Heights and the County Police Department and other county employees.

Despite last night's "escape"  there are no plans to change any of the procedures, according to officials.

The Watchung Stables are located within the Watchung Reservation and have been owned and operated by Union County since 1933.

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