A horse escaped from its stall at the PNE in Vancouver and knocked down two fairgoers on Thursday afternoon, officials have confirmed.

The incident happened around 4:35 p.m. PT just after the horse participated in a cattle-penning event, said a statement issued by PNE spokeswoman Laura Ballance.

The horse's stall was accidentally left unlocked, officials said, and the animal managed to walk out of the stables on its own. When a trainer approached the horse and tried to corral it, it broke into a gallop.

Witness Andrea Melton, who was in the area with her 21-month-old daughter, said she heard someone shout before turning around to see the horse hit an elderly man.

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This horse broke free from its stall at the PNE in Vancouver and knocked down two fairgoers Thursday afternoon. (CBC)

"He spun around, dropped his cane, landed on his side and immediately there was a pool of blood under his face and everybody was screaming, shouting, 'Call 911,' and it was so scary," she said.

Ballance said two people were taken to hospital.

"One guest walked to First Aid and was then transported to Burnaby General Hospital. The other guest, when transported to Vancouver General Hospital, was awake and alert," she said.

The horse was unharmed.

Ballance said PNE staff were reviewing the incident to ensure it did not happen again.

The 15-day-long Pacific National Exhibition is non-profit event run by the city of Vancouver at Hastings Park every summer.

Did you witness the incident? We want to hear from you. Contact us at  vancouverassignment@cbc.ca