A MAN "ran for his life" after being confronted by a galloping horse which had escaped from a field. 

The Shire horse was one of two which made their way from the field, off Fingringhoe Road, in Colchester, after winds damaged the fence this afternoon.

Neighbour Hector Preston was one of the first people on the scene, at about 1.30pm.

The 28-year-old, who lives in Fingringhoe Road, said: "I looked out from my house and I could see these two Shire horses tottering around the neighbour's garden and I just thought: 'They must belong to them and they're putting them into a stables or something'.

"The next thing, they're galloping off into the road.

"So I went down to see if I could help and then this one just starts galloping at me. I just sprinted for my life and got off the road.

"It just kept on galloping towards Colchester.

"They're big animals but they're fast."

Mr Preston said two people, who are not the owners, arrived soon after carrying a headcollar and appeared to be able to tame the horses.

He added: "Traffic was at a standstill here because everyone was watching."

A witness reported the incident to Essex Police.

The force was contacted for comment.