Police rescue escaped horse on Sunrise Highway

Oppie the horse

By Carl Corry and Katherine Hoey

A 30-year-old thoroughbred horse escaped from a Brookhaven farm this morning and ran down Sunrise Highway before being rescued by a Suffolk police officer and a deputy sheriff, police said.

Highway Patrol Officer Matthew Siesto responded to multiple 911 calls reporting a horse running on westbound Sunrise Highway between exits 57 and 56 in Brookhaven at 7:27 a.m. The horse, named Oppie, escaped from Rockaby Farms, located at 44 Yaphank Ave. in Brookhaven, after a tree fell and damaged the horse’s pen, police said. 

The horse’s caretaker, Erin Easop, said a total of three horses got out of their pens, but that Oppie was the only to escape.

“By the time he left my property, two citizens had already had Sunrise Highway stopped on both sides,” Easop said, adding that she found out both were horse owners. “One was a veteran and they knew exactly what to do. We’re on the eastern end of Long Island and more often than not, you’re going to run into some people with livestock experience.”

This thoroughbred, named Oppie, escaped from Rockaby Farms in Brookhaven after a tree fell and damaged the horse’s pen, police said. Credit: SCPD

Easop said a good Samaritan picked her up in a truck and drove her toward the horse. When they hit traffic, she got out and Siesto took her in his car to maneuver through traffic toward the horse, which was observed in the westbound median and then turned around to travel eastbound.

Police said Suffolk County Deputy Sheriff Patrice Silvestri, also experienced with horses, grabbed Oppie at 7:33 a.m.

After Easop secured the horse with a halter, she and Siesto walked Oppie back to the farm.