Haines Borough Police Officer Josh Knore knew enough to put on his cowboy boots after getting a call last week about a loose horse that nearly collided with a car at 1 Mile Haines Highway.
Unfortunately, wrangling the runaway was more footwork than footwear.
Knore located the bay quarter horse trotting down West Fair Drive toward the fairgrounds. Eyes wide and ears pinned, the gelding was neighing loudly and spooked. It also had no saddle, negating any advantage Knore would get from his boots.
Knore drove alongside, rolled down his windows and tried in vain to talk the horse into calming down.
“So I pull in front of him to kind of block him off, not thinking that he would go up into the snow berm. For some reason they’re really afraid of snow berms and they’ll keep running down the road until they find an opening. But he just went up onto the snow berm,” Knore said.
After escaping three more attempts to corral it, the horse came astride a large fence. Knore figured he’d position his car to create a funnel. But as Knore was getting out of the car, the horse started squeezing through a small gap between the vehicle and fence.
“I put my right foot up on the bumper and launched myself. In your head you think it’s this big explosion and you’re like flying through the air and jumping on him, but I think honestly it was more like I slid onto his back. Kind of like a “Free Willy” thing at Sea World,” Knore said.
Grabbing the horse’s mane, Knore attempted to steer but soon realized the animal was paying him no mind. It was heading to the home of another horse owned by resident Donnie Turner.
While the two horses got acquainted, Knore slipped off, knocked on the door and asked Turner if he would house the runaway until its owner could be contacted.
Owner Harriet Brouillette collected her horse, named Nick, that day.
The episode was the most excitement he’s seen in six months on the local force, Knore said. “Almost the first thought in my head was, ‘Man, I wish my dash cam(era) was on because this could turn into a viral Youtube video and I would be famous.”