Saturday, December 2, 2023, in Arvada, Colorado, a member of our equestrian community was out riding her horse next to the road. A road she has ridden many times before. A distracted driver ran a stop sign and hit her and her horse head on. The force shattered the horse’s front legs and sent the rider over the hood of the car and onto the windshield.

The horse died on the road shortly after.

The driver received a ticket for running the stop sign and was sent on their way. Nothing else.

There are signs on this particular road for drivers to yield to equestrians. There are also signs stating a low speed limit. That low speed limit exists for a reason. Yet drivers feel it’s acceptable to take their cars at highway speeds and fly inches from pedestrians and equestrians that are walking on the side of the road.

Our entire equestrian community have shown support, and are truly outraged by this incident. The horse and rider that were affected were both incredible individuals. They were kind, brave, extremely skilled, and well versed in riding. The rider is a highly respected and law abiding contributor to the community. They did not deserve this. No one deserves this.

The accident itself was traumatizing enough. Adding egregious insult to injury was the failure of proper action and justice by the police.

This situation was absolutely avoidable. Carelessness, entitlement, and negligence are never an excuse. – And are all unfortunately a growing problem with drivers. That driver took a life. It’s no different than hitting a pedestrian. There should be larger consequences than a minor traffic ticket.

Meanwhile, a wonderful human had to watch her best friend die a horrible death on the road.

Drivers, PLEASE pay attention. Horses have the right of way. I will repeat that. HORSES HAVE THE RIGHT OF WAY. This is the law! Horses are not inanimate objects. They are living beings that carry other living beings on top of them and trust that those humans are going to ensure their safety. If you see a horse and rider next to the road or on a trail, go slow and give them LOTS of space. Additionally, be aware and benevolent of EVERYONE around you. Think about how your selfish actions can affect others.

Video Coverage Below

How You Can Help

The state senator for the district in which the December 2nd Vehicle – Equestrian collision occurred is Lisa Cutter. Email Address: The state representative for the district in which the collision occurred is Lindsey Daugherty. Email Address: I encourage each and every one of you to take some time and compose a respectful, clearly-written email detailing what you know of the collision yesterday and demanding (politely) that action be taken on the issue.

Arvada Area Horseman’s Association is meeting on December 11th at 7:00 p.m. at G&J Lazy P. Please come and be prepared to discuss the next steps moving forward from Saturday’s tragedy. Attend virtually via the ZOOM link here.

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