Authorities rescue escaped horse after two-day chase

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 20, 2007


— It’s not that they were on their high horse about it. It’s just that it really wasn’t the kind of detective work Lawrence County deputies usually expect to do on a regular shift.

But when the call went out at around 8 Monday morning that a horse was running hell for leather in the eastern end of the county, deputies were off and running to help out. As much for the animal’s sake as to prevent the chance of a pileup between horse and horse-power.

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For the first 24 hours deputies must have felt they were between a “hoof and a hard place.”

Simply, this was a horse that may not have been born free, but it was going to gallop that way for as long as it could.

“Originally, it was on the roadway, then it went off the roadway into a field,” Chief Deputy Jeff Lawless said. “The problem is we are not trained to deal with horses. Our main concern is the safety of the motorist and we care about helping the horse. We want to get it in a stable and a safe environment.”

One of the first calls they made was to Lonnie Best, 911 administrator, and his wife, Dee Staley, both experienced horse people.

(Best) came up and tried to help … but the horse was spooked and wouldn’t come near,” Lawless said. “They brought up one of their own horses thinking it would calm it. But it still wouldn’t cooperate.”

Next a mounted police officer from Huntington tried to help. Again, he failed soon out of the starting gate.

However, by 2 p.m. Tuesday another horse owner had better luck. Tony Black was able to coax the animal into a fenced-in paddock on his property near Lock 27.

Now the deputies and animal lovers alike are champing at the bit trying to find the owner of the reddish brown quarter horse that’s about 15 hands high.

“We’ve been searching for the owners and have had a couple of leads,” Lawless said.

But so far no luck.

Now Lawless is asking for anybody to help in identifying and notifying the owner. And as quickly as possible.

Because there’s someone out there who doesn’t know his old gray mare ain’t where she used to be.