Cops round up loose horses

Charles AgarAspen, CO Colorado
Jordan Curet/The Aspen Times

ASPEN Aspen’s community safety officers had to dust off their wrangling skills Thursday.Dave Paschal and Gretchen Born answered a call from neighbors of the Aspen Club to find three Belgian horses, averaging 2,000 pounds each, loose on Ute Avenue.

“They just punched through their inner paddock,” Paschal said, and the animals squeezed between posts to freedom.The horses only wandered about 100 yards before officers responded, Paschal said.”They’re big animals,” Paschal said, but the officers used their vehicles to barricade the street, opened a wire fence to the animal’s enclosure and shooed the horses back to their paddock.

“It looks like a bear knocked over some of the railings on the fence,” said Sandy Dieterich, owner of Aspen Carriage and Sleigh, which runs carriage services on the streets of Aspen.Bears regularly walk the path behind the horse paddock, and the three horses have no fear, Dieterich said. “They probably just followed the bear right out.”Over the past three years she’s owned the business, Dieterich said the horses have escaped a few times, but their stints of liberty were brief. Over the past 30 years the business has operated in Aspen, there have been a few escapes.

“They can kick up their heels when they’re playing,” Dieterich said. “But they’re typically not a danger.”Dieterich said she was happy the community safety officers and a neighbor were willing to help out.Charles Agar’s e-mail address is