CAIRNS, Australia - A jockey and his horse were (literally) stopped in their tracks this week. Masayuki Abe was rounding the corner on his horse at Cannon Park Racecourse in Cairns, Australia, around 5:30 a.m. on Wednesday when he spotted what looked like a "big crack on the ground."
A gateman yelled, "Be careful there is a big..." Abe couldn't make out the end of the man's sentence, so he continued galloping toward the sand track. On his last lap, he discovered why he was being warned: the dark shadow he was seeing was actually a giant carpet python, slithering across the track.
Abe estimated the snake was somewhere between 15 and 16 feet long. He tried to distract his horse, so the animal wouldn't be frightened by the giant reptile -- and fortunately, he was successful.
Abe posted several photos of the impressive creature, which he referred to as a "big boy," on Facebook. Nearly 4,000 shared the jockey's post and hundreds commented on the python's size.