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Horse that escaped Philadelphia stables, ran down I-95 is "safe, healthy and unharmed"

Horse seen hoofing it down I-95 in Philadelphia safely back in its Strawberry Mansion stable
Horse seen hoofing it down I-95 in Philadelphia safely back in its Strawberry Mansion stable 02:03

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Among the cars, trucks and buses making their way along Interstate 95 in Philadelphia on Feb. 20 was an unusual addition to the morning commute: A horse galloping in full stride down the highway's shoulder.

The horse, which had managed to escape the stables at the Fletcher Street Urban Riding Club in Strawberry Mansion, was eventually stopped near Port Richmond and safely returned to the organization.

In an Instagram post Wednesday night, the nonprofit thanked the community for expressing concern and support, and shared an update on their runaway's riveting rendezvous.

"The newest addition to the Fletcher Street Family is safe, healthy and unharmed, and that's what matters to us! And of course, our kids have plans to name him- you guessed it- 95-North or Freeway," the post said.

The equestrian escapee was first spotted on I-95 shortly before 5 a.m. Tuesday. Police said the horse started on Kelly Drive and then somehow made its way onto I-676 before reaching I-95 north. In total, the horse traveled about six miles.

Video from a passenger on I-95 in Philadelphia spotted a horse trotting on the shoulder early Tuesday. Angelo Palmer

"We're grateful for the quick response of the state troopers and the outpouring of support from our community, @phillypolice who came to assist. Seeing the community rally around our horse and our organization reminds us why our mission is so important," FSURC wrote.

A spokesperson for the nonprofit told CBS Philadelphia earlier this week that stables and stalls were locked before the horse made it out, which Wednesday's post reaffirmed. "Our club has experienced vandalism in the past, (although, not to this degree) and we're taking extra precautions by installing security cameras. But we're not going to let this deter us, or our mission to serve."

The Fletcher Street Riding Urban Riding Club was founded by Ellis Ferrell back in the 1980s, when he first started his stable of five horses on 31st and Master streets. The club moved to Fletcher Street in 2004.

Philadelphia's long history of urban horse riding, particularly among Black cowboys, was depicted in the 2020 Netflix film "Concrete Cowboy," starring Idris Elba.

CONCRETE COWBOY - (L-R) Idris Elba as Harp and Caleb McLaughlin as Cole. Cr. Aaron Ricketts / NETFLIX © 2021

The movie was shot in the vacant lots Fletcher Street cowboys use to ride, and co-stars many of the stables' actual riders.

"Horses and humans have been woven into Philly's story since the beginning. On Fletcher Street itself, municipal records show horse ownership dating back to the 1800s! Without horses - and the care from black urban horseman - most of the progress that Philly had establishing the city would not exist. We're proud to keep alive that community pride and the tradition of Black horsemanship, and pass it on to new generations," the nonprofit wrote.

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