Horse injures two parade-goers
July 19, 2011
GRAND LAKE -Two women seated in beach chairs while watching Grand Lake’s annual Buffalo BBQ parade unexpectedly encountered an out-of-control horse several minutes after the parade began passing their viewing spot.
Veteran Rocky Mountain National Park Ranger Jim Caretti was among two Park rangers on horseback and several others on foot in the annual parade on Sunday, July 17.
Visibly spooked at one point, Caretti’s horse backed up into the crowd and, according to witnesses, appeared to “sit” on one women and step on the other.
The horse, an 18-year-old gelding named Logan, left both women entangled in their mangled aluminum-framed chairs.
Visibly shocked by the encounter, both women sustained significant bruising; the woman who suffered a leg injury was put on a stretcher and transported by ambulance to Granby Medical Center.
Immediately after the encounter, another ranger helped Caretti guide Logan away from the parade; two more park rangers attended to the victims until EMS arrived. In the meantime, the parade continued.
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The women were seated at the rear of diagonally parked vehicles along Grand Avenue. During the incident, the victim with the injured leg hit her head on the tire of a parked SUV, according to witnesses.
It is unknown exactly what spooked the horse. Parades by nature are full of activity, and this particular parade had a variety of possible distractions such as cap guns, ATVs, water balloons and loose dogs.
“All of our staff who ride and work with horses go though mandatory training every year,” said Rocky Mountain National Park spokeswoman Kyle Patterson on Monday. Patterson said Park officials are investigating the incident.
Both the horse and Caretti have ridden in many parades before, she said.
– Tonya Bina can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19603