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September 14, 2023

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Public Information Unit, 303-441-1500

Horseback rider sustains injuries after being thrown off horse on open space trail

Horse sustains non-survivable injuries after fall

Boulder County, Colo. - On Wednesday, September 13, 2023, at approximately 3:55 p.m., the Boulder County Communications Center was notified of a horseback rider who had been thrown off her horse and sustained injuries to her leg on the Shadow Canyon North Trail, a City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks property.

The 23-year-old female was riding with a friend along the trail when the horse reportedly slipped on loose rock, causing the horse to fall downhill, down a scree slope and throwing the rider off in the process. The injured rider was able to walk a short distance to a rescue vehicle and was driven out to the trailhead where she was evaluated by paramedics from Louisville Fire Protection District. She declined further medical care.

When the horse fell, it slid a short distance down a steep embankment. Despite efforts by the other rider to calm the horse, the horse attempted to get up, which caused it to slide even further down into the ravine, coming to a stop in a creek approximately 300 feet below the trail. A veterinarian, who had been requested at the onset of the incident, was transported into the field to evaluate the horse. The veterinarian determined the horse had sustained non-survivable injuries and that the most humane course of action was to euthanize the horse. The horse was euthanized on site and rescuers assisted with removing the horse from the ravine and transporting it back to the trailhead. The horse was turned over to a team from The Hearts and Hooves at the request of the owner.

Agencies assisting with this rescue effort included: Boulder County Sheriff’s Office, Boulder County Sheriff Office Victim Advocates, Boulder Emergency Squad, City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks, Louisville Fire Protection District, Mountain View Fire Protection District, and Rocky Mountain Rescue Group.

The associated Boulder County Sheriff's Office case number is: #23-05054.


/s/ Ryan Singer, Emergency Service Coordinator