GLOUCESTER — Gloucester High School had an unusual visitor in its halls recently.
Austin McGill, 18, pulled a senior prank by riding his horse Sonny into his school on Friday, Nov. 5.
“Probably about a month before I actually rode my horse into the school, I was sitting in class and I was joking around with my friends and I was like, ‘For a senior prank it would be funny if I brought a horse in,'” McGill said. “And they were like, ‘Yeah, that would be funny,’ and I was like ‘Okay well I’m going to do it.'”
McGill wanted to pull the prank at the right time, so he waited a few weeks until it was not a busy day at school and his friends were all there to witness it.
When he rode up to the school on Sonny, McGill’s classmates came outside to see the pair.
McGill said that he initially only planned to ride the horse outside and then head home.
“But then I was just like, ‘It would be hilarious if I actually went into the school,'” he said.
Once his classmates were back inside, McGill’s friends held the door open for him while he rode Sonny into the building.
“I walked about a couple of steps, and I was looking at the floor and I didn’t want to slip or anything, so I turned him around and then I just stood there,” he said. “Everyone surrounded us. It was crazy.”
While the scene expectedly caused quite a commotion in the hallways, McGill, who has ridden horses his whole life, had to remind the other students to lower their voices.
“I was telling them to quiet down, and I told them that it’s a live animal, it can do whatever it wants, basically,” he said.
McGill and Sonny stayed in the hallway briefly while students and teachers took selfies with them.
“All the students found it hilarious,” McGill said. “Most of them were just like ‘Why is there a horse in my school?’ They were confused but they were all laughing.”
McGill said that Sonny was completely fine while they were in the building.
“The whole time everybody was petting his face and he was shaking his head, and when he shakes his head up and down, that means he likes that,” McGill said. “He was rubbing his head on everyone. He loved it.”
One teacher, however, appeared to be displeased as he walked by and that was when McGill knew it was time to leave.
While McGill said that there have been memorable senior pranks pulled at Gloucester High School in the past, such as snapping turtles being brought into the school, none have drawn attention like this one.
However, the administration did not get a kick out of the prank.
When McGill returned to school the next week, he was suspended for 10 days for causing disruption, with a recommendation of long-term suspension, which is anything after 10 days.
However, McGill has no regrets about his prank.
“Especially seeing how 99 percent of the people loved it, I wouldn’t have changed it at all,” he said.
Gloucester County Public Schools has not responded to WYDaily’s request for comment.