After roaming the woods from behind Tyl Middle School, the massive 17.2 hand, 2,300 pound 4-year-old mare crossed the road, wandered into the area of the Montville Conservation Center, crossed back over, back down the power line trails and headed toward the area between the middle school and the little league complex in Montville. She was even spotted late Thursday night by a Colchester Road family but they were unable to hold her.
Steve Jones, 18, was injured Wednesday when the horse he's owned for just three weeks "got spooked" and then bucked and reared, hurling Jones off and "just barely missed completely" trampling him. Jones was rescued by Oakdale firefighters and rescue crews and transported to Backus Hospital; he was treated and released; dark bruises and deep scratches were visible on his neck. But as soon as he was released, he said, "I had to find her."
Jones was joined by his girlfriend Amanda Daniels—who introduced him to an equestrian life—and fellow Mohegan firefighter Chris Mowan as well as Mohegan Fire Chief Joe Giangrasso and assistant chief Randy Page as well as numerous other volunteer searchers including firefighters and people Jones has never met before in the search for his horse.
"She's just really valuable to me," he said. "I have to find her."
Jones and fellow searchers split up Friday morning armed with radios, cell phones, water and feed, snacks for Joliette, hoping to lure her, though Daniels said "she's definitely been eating because we've not only see her tracks, but her poop."
At 11 a.m. Jones was contacted by a volunteer: they'd found her at the little league complex.
Mohegan Fire Department Lt. Jim Sajkowicz had been searching too. He was in the woods near the ball field when he spotted her.
"At first when we talked he said there was no sign of her, then he said, 'Oh, I see her, I see her.'"
Jones contacted the rest of the searchers and everyone hurried to the location.
"We all ran to meet him and we saw her and managed to get close, get a couple of ropes on her, we gave her a little medicine to calm her down and other than being really, really tired, she's in perfect condition," he said.
Jones, "very tired and really, really sore" said he was grateful.
"We had so much help, so much support," he said. "It's so much appreciated. Thank you to everyone that cared."
UPDATE: Friday, Sept. 14 7:20 a.m.
A number of sightings, tracks and other signs have some searchers hopeful they will find the missing horse, one that threw its owner and trampled him.
UPDATE: 10:10 p.m.
Firefighters and volunteer rescue personnel used thermal imagery in the search for the missing black mare without success, at least not yet. Search parties are organizing on Montville Patch Facebook page.
UPDATE: 6:10 p.m.
According to Oakdale Fire Chief Gary Murphy, despite their best efforts today, searchers from Montville's fire departments has of yet not found the large black drafthorse that trampled its 20-year-old rider last night at about 6:30 p.m.
According to the town's emergency management Facebook page, the focus of the search is in the area the horse was last seen; in the vicinity of Tyl Middle School, the woods around Montville Conservation Center and Fair Oak School.
UPDATE: 3:10 p.m.
Montville Emergency Management is reporting that the black, very large drafthorse is still missing, somewhere in the woods adjacent to Tyl middle school and the Montville Conservation Center area.
Emergency management officials are telling folks to NOT try and catch the horse; rather call Montville Animal Control at 860-848-3529.
UPDATE: Thursday 9:30 a.m.
A 20-year-old Mohegan firefighter was riding his horse Wednesday evening when he was thrown and trampled. He was rescued and is at Backus Hospital with serious injuries. The horse, Stevenson Jones was riding took off. Now, firefighters are in the woods near the power line trail off Chesterfield Road searching for the horse, according to Oakdale Fire Chief Gary Murphy.
With dusk approaching, a 20-year old man, out riding, was thrown from his horse and trampled Wednesday, according to emergency officials.
Fire and emergency dispatch were alerted at around 6:30 p.m. that a man in the area of 166 Chesterfield Road was thrown and trampled. According to the initial report, he was located about ½ mile off the roadway on a power line trial.
According to Oakdale Fire Department Chief Gary Murphy, the unidentified man was located and rescued by fire and rescue personnel and treated on the scene by Mohegan Tribe medics. The man was transported to Backus Hospital with serious injuries, Murphy said.
The horse took off and as of late Wednesday night, had not been found.
Check back for updates.