“Just watched 2 horses running full speed down Orange St. on the east side of the Mission Inn. Both horses crashed into k-rails and were definitely injured..” the poster, Rich Montgomery, wrote in the caption. “This was a horrible experience for my kids to witness…My kids don’t want to come down here for the Festival of Lights anymore.”
The pictured showed at least two horses fitted with harnesses on their sides, tangled up with orange and white street barriers spilling water onto the street. Video taken later showed people helping the horses get upright.
The two horses had been pulling a carriage on Orange Street Sunday night when they became unhitched, ran down the street, and hit the water-filled plastic barricades, said Phil Pitchford, spokesman for the city of Riverside.
“The carriage operator’s veterinarian came out to check on the horses and found they did not have any serious injuries beyond the ‘road rash’ from the fall,’ Pitchford said in a statement to the mayor and city council.
The cause of the incident appeared to be a broken bolt that connects the horses to the carriages, Pitchford said. The operator told the city that the carriages are inspected every day before the horses are hitched to them, and a bolt breaking like this has never happened before.
The carriage with the broken bolt will be inspected and not used again until a report is finalized, he said.