August 30, 2009

Carriage ride goes awry for tourists

A family of tourists in Salt Lake City got more than they bargained for when a spooked horse turned their carriage ride into a derby race, police say.

Salt Lake City Police Lt. Mark Scharman said the visiting Idaho Falls, Idaho, family, whose identity was not reported, was fine following the impromptu horse race in downtown Salt Lake City Saturday, The Salt Lake Tribune reported Sunday.

Scharman said the incident began when the 12-year-old horse pulling the carriage was spooked for unknown reasons and soon was in a full gallop with the carriage and its surprised passengers in tow.

The horse's owner, Jason Kirton, was soon able to stop the frightened animal and exited the carriage to keep the animal calm. That was when the situation got worse for the family of seven, Scharman said.

The police official said the horse immediately took off again at high speeds with the family, leaving its owner behind.

The Tribune said the carriage eventually came to a stop after hitting a parked car, totaling the carriage but leaving the family members unhurt.