The Los Angeles rogue horse stampede on Saturday’s trail ride began with one horse being spooked by a loud noise and ended with several Los Angeles horses running rogue. "About 15 horses came running towards me on my left, and a few of them didn't have riders so I knew we were really in trouble," said rider Marian Hermansea as reported by NBC Southern California on Dec. 28, 2013.
On Saturday, about 11:43 a.m., a large group of horseback riders was at the end of a trail ride near the Los Angeles Equestrian Center and was heading back to the stable when all of a sudden one horse was spooked by a tractor that backfired or the loud speaker coming from a rehearsal at the equestrian center.
Eyewitnesses who were eating lunch at a nearby restaurant and some of the horseback riders reported that the spooked horse began galloping down the trail and that other horses followed suit.
"They were coming every which direction, and they were telling us pull back on the horse, but the horses were just going up in the air and everybody starting falling, and I fell," said one of the riders who broke her wrist and fractured a rib. She says that the trail ride group was a very large group, “too large in her opinion.”
"It was like pinballs. The horse just kept going. All of the horses started running and throwing riders off. I saw my kids fall off the horses, being dragged, my 6-year-old twins,” said another horseback rider. Her son said that he tried to hold on but that he was eventually thrown out of his saddle. "I fell back, I rolled off my horse."
Another eyewitness who saw the Los Angeles rogue horse incident commented that the horses were from the "L A Equestrian center rentals (griffith park horse rental)" and agreed that the group of horseback riders was too large.
"I was there and those horses STAMPEDED. This was NOT just 1 horse. At LEAST 15-20 horses went thundering by me without riders in their saddles. Children and adults were thrown from their horses and were injured. There were WAY too many horses in this group with many inexperienced small children on huge horses and way too few wranglers. Very unprofessional and dangerous!"
After the Los Angeles rogue horse stampede, police and firefighters quickly responded to the scene. According to Burbank Police, three adults and three children were taken to nearby hospitals for minor injuries, and the runaway horses were eventually contained.