A Lakeland Village woman was killed Thursday morning after she was hit by a car while trying to capture her escaped Miniature horse.
Click here to read about the fatal accident that occurred on Grand Avenue in Lakeland Village shortly before 6 a.m.
As officials worked to investigate the scene and interview witnesses, the animal continued to run through the area for nearly two hours before a nearby horse owner corralled the loose Miniature.
Lake Elsinore resident Maureen Elliott, 29, said she was on her way to work when she saw the horse being chased by an animal control officer on Grand Avenue.
“I tried to block the traffic with my truck so they wouldn’t hit the pony,” she said.
As a horse owner, Elliott's equestrian experience kicked in: she ran back home and told her boyfriend to grab some grain and her gray Arabian horse, “DJ.”
DJ was used to lure the Miniature.
“They are herd animals,” Elliott said of horses. “They want to be in a herd.”
DJ’s calm demeanor quieted the scared Miniature, which allowed animal control officers to halter the little gelding and safely walk it out of a field located behind Elsinore First Assembly Church on Grand Avenue.
Officers from Riverside County Department of Animal Services and Wildomar-based Animal Friends of the Valleys responded to the incident, although the unincorporated area falls under the jurisdiction of the former.
Riverside County Department of Animal Services spokesman John Welsh called today's incident a "very sad tragedy," but confirmed the Miniature horse was transported to the county's Jurupa Valley shelter. The animal's age and name were not available at press time.
Southwest Riverside County is home to many horses. Capturing a loose horse is best left to experienced equestrians, although there are some things residents can do to help minimize danger.
The following are tips from the University of Kentucky:
Stay out of the horse’s way and do not run toward it or chase it from behind – this will make the animal harder to catch.
Position yourself between any dangerous areas, such as a busy roadway, and the animal. Your presence can help prevent the horse from running into the dangerous area.
Try to remain calm, do not shout, or make jerky motions with your body. Use a calm voice to reassure the animal.
As soon as possible, call 911. The dispatcher can contact the appropriate animal control agency.
If you do capture a horse with a halter, do not try to hang on if the animal whirls away or bolts. Always put your safety first!