Spooked horse near wharf injures handler

June 10, 2009 12:33:41 PM PDT
A horse handler was seriously injured Monday when the animal became spooked near San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf, a police sergeant said today.

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The horse's handler was sitting in the buggy near Pier 45 when the horse "seemed to spook for no reason" and flung the handler to the ground at about 6:30 p.m., San Francisco police Sgt. Lyn Tomioka said.

The handler suffered life-threatening injuries and was transported to San Francisco General Hospital, according to Tomioka.

The horse ran loose for about 20 minutes, during which time it knocked a woman off her bicycle, before the animal was captured near Pier 27, Tomioka said.

San Francisco Animal Care & Control officials responded and determined there was no mistreatment of the horse, according to Animal Care & Control Capt. Vicky Guldbech.

"The horse was just spooked," Guldbech said. "There wasn't anything unusual, there was no disturbance or neglect or abuse. The horse just had a bad night."

The horse was treated by a private veterinarian and returned to its stables in Petaluma, according to Guldbech.

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