Twenty trailer rigs transporting horses and team members, and also driven by members, were headed to the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association event in Marshall County. En route, two of the women team members were involved in an accident.
The incident occurred on Thursday morning, September 26. The Murray State University Rodeo Team’s one trailer was nearing Paducah when the accident happened. It caused no student injuries but it was necessary to euthanized one horse.
According to accident reconstruction, the women were close to Exit 11 on Interstate 24 when a vehicle in front of them braked hard and unexpectedly. The young driver braked and veered off the road, avoiding a vehicle collision. As she made that abrupt swerve, the trailer jackknifed and then unhooked from her truck, flinging the horse trailer on its side. This forced the horses through the roof of the trailer, injuring the animals severely.
Murray State University rodeo coach J.D. VanHooser told WKMS that one of the horses had to be euthanized at the scene. While another horse also received severe injuries, the veterinarian determined that it would likely heal.
A distraught VanHooser said the loss of a horse is hard and he is overwhelmingly thankful that all of the students are fine and no one was hurt.
This is the only incident of an injured animal on a trip since VanHooser has been coach.
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