A pair of rambunctious ponies tore loose of their weighted sled and trampled through a tent of onlookers at a pony pull in the Town of Jefferson on Sunday afternoon.
“I wasn’t more than 50 feet away,” said Jefferson Town Supervisor Daniel Singletary. “I saw the whole thing.”
Half a dozen teams of pulling ponies from across the state gathered at Buck’s North Road Stable in the southern Schoharie County town on Sunday afternoon for an old-fashioned pulling competition.
Singletary said each team of two horses and three drivers filed into a fenced arena to take turns pulling sleds of railroad track rails.
“It’s pretty simple,” he said. “The horses just dig in and see how far they can pull the thing.”
At about 3:30 though, things went wrong. A horse’s back hoof, straining against 5,000 pounds, broke away from the ground and hit a member of the driving team square in the chest.
“He went flying,” Singletary said, “and somehow the horses got loose of the sled.”
The ponies ran forward right through a tent of driving teams waiting their turn.
Singletary didn’t know the extent of the injuries, saying they were not life-threatening but probably not insignificant.
A Schoharie County Sheriff’s deputy declined to release names, but said roughly half a dozen people were taken by ambulance to Fox Memorial Hospital in Oneonta with bruises, lacerations and one possible broken arm.
As the horses and drivers were brought in from out of the area, no locals were hurt in the incident. Even with trampled drivers on the way to the hospital, Singletary said the pull continued.