Runaway horse delays commuter train in Weston; dispatcher leaves desk to corral mare

A Weston police dispatcher left her desk to chase a horse galloping near the commuter rail tracks this morning and caught the animal after a half hour, thanks to some quick thinking.

“I was chasing her down the tracks,” Dispatcher Paula Nicholas said in a telephone interview. “She stopped, and I had some peppermints in my pocket and caught her. I put my belt around her and walked her off of the tracks.”

This isn’t the first horse that Nicholas has had to wrangle. She said she has been sent out for similar incidents in the past because she has a horse of her own.

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“If I’m on duty, then I’ll help out,” she said.

Weston police received a call from Lincoln police about the rampant mare at 6:45 a.m., Nicholas said.

The English thoroughbred apparently escaped from a farm on Codman Road in Lincoln and went for a morning sprint along the MBTA’s Fitchburg/South Acton line.

“The train was really good,” she said. “They had slowed down.”

Train 406 was delayed for 11 minutes while Lincoln and Weston officers pursued the horse, MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo said in an e-mail.

Nicholas and a Lincoln police officer cornered the animal between the Silver Hill and Hastings stops in Weston, she said.

They walked the horse to a nearby barn on Concord Road, where she will be kept until her owner can pick her up.

“I don’t think she realized that the mare had gotten out,” Nicholas said.

She said that neither the horse nor the officers suffered any injuries.

Nicholas said she wasn’t expecting to have such a busy morning.

“You have no idea,” she said.