A horse running free through a Colorado neighborhood was quickly brought under control when a sheriff’s deputy hopped on its back and rode the animal nearly three miles back home through city traffic.
It happened Jan. 8 in Centennial, just south of Denver, and Deputy Ian Sebold says the horse was terrified by the time he got to the scene.
Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office officials posted video of what followed on Facebook, joking the horse “tried to make a clean getaway, but Deputy Sebold was much too quick.”
“The cowboy cop responded to the call, wrangled the horse, jumped on its back and rode it to safety,” the department wrote. “The horse, by the way, is in stable condition.”
It’s a fitting coincidence that Sebold, an 82nd Airborne veteran, not only was raised on a ranch, but also is training for the Arapahoe Mounted Unit, which patrols on horse back. He says the Army taught him how to do things “on the fly,” which also proved handy.
“I saw the horse crossing the road, and it’s a four-lane major roadway. I could tell he was terrified,” Sebold told McClatchy News.
“A citizen was walking nearby, trying to stop traffic to allow him to get across. You could see in his face, he didn’t know what to do on a major roadway. He just wanted to go home, but didn’t know how to get there.”
Sebold and other deputies eventually found the horse in an apartment complex, where a crowd had gathered, including people waving carrots.
“With no trailer to take him home, the simplest idea was to ride him back,” Sebold said. “There was no saddle, no halter, but I got a boost — old school way — and hopped on. To me, the biggest question was how to get this horse safely out of a major residential area. We were not walking those 2.6 miles.”
The other deputies provided an escort, blocking traffic until the horse made it through intersections, including one highway with a 55-mph speed limit.
Sebold says it was sunset before they reached the horse’s pasture, with the owners trailing behind in a vehicle. The horse had been running free as long as four hours, and it was exhausted, he said.
The department’s Mounted Unit also posted video of his ride, noting there were “a lot of funny things to say about this video, but we want to say the serious things.”
“Deputy Sebold is riding a strange horse, who is almost certainly scared, down the street in vehicular traffic, with nothing but a halter and lead,” the unit wrote. “That’s some incredible horsemanship, to say the least.”
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