The 4th of July is a day to celebrate independence, America and, above all else, freedom. This year, apparently horses got into the act, too.

A runaway steed galloped through Capitol Hill on Sunday, riding as if Paul Revere was aboard warning that the British were coming. The horse ran through the intersection at 16th and Independence streets SE, where, one poster to a Hill listserv reported, it”narrowly avoiding being hit.” Resident Anne Holbrook also saw the equine escapee. Holbrook was taking her dog on an afternoon walk when she suddenly heard galloping, she tells City Desk. She moved toward the rumble and spotted a big brown horse dashing through traffic and hurtling by stunned pedestrians.

It thundered down 16th Street SE and across Massachusetts Avenue, says Holbrook. But the horse wasn’t alone. A small dog, a woman, and a man were running behind it  “It looked like a cartoon,” says Holbrook. “The dog was chasing the horse, the lady was chasing the dog, and the man was chasing the lady.” Holbrook believes the dog must have  escaped its owner and started menacing the horse, who then bolted.

The Metropolitan Police Department reports the incident happened around 3 p.m., noting dryly that a “horse got loose from a trailer and ran around in Potomac Gardens.”  A D.C. police horse unit was able to subdue the freaked-out animal, and it was returned to its owner.  And thus ended the horse’s own brief independence. (As these things go, this was an extremely happy ending; in Bellevue, Iowa, a pair of runaway horses trampled 24 people, killing one.)