American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) President Mike Maul announced on Sept. 14 that his organization will investigate the deaths of two horses that were hit by a car after crossing the finish line on day seven of the Great Santa Fe Trail Horse Ride. The investigation will be conducted independently of the insurance investigation into the incident.
Rider Teresa Wilcox suffered bruises and scrapes. Rider Sandy Olson suffered a dislocated hip and broken thumb. The horses they were riding died at the accident scene. Both riders were released from the hospital and returned to the ride site.
The Great Santa Fe Trail Horse Race is an 800-mile endurance ride completed over a 13 day period. The ride started in Santa Fe, N.M., on Sept. 3 and ended in Missouri on Sept. 15.
“This is a terrible thing that has happened,” Maul said. “My heart goes out to the riders who were injured.”