On October 1st the Amway Center opened its doors to the public for the first time with much fanfare and an obligatory ribbon cutting. Mounted Police were dispatched not so much for crowd control but as a display of Orlando's finest. The Mounted unit barn is a bucolic spot right next to the Citrus Bowl. Rather than loading the horses in the trailer they decided to let them get some exercise by riding them to the Arena.
On the way two of the horses were struck from behind by a vehicle traveling an estimated 30 miles per hour. The horses legs buckled and the two volunteer riders were thrown clear. There was broken glass and the horses were bloodied. Both horses bolted once they got back up and they returned to the barn without the riders. The struck horses were named Captain and Peanut. Katherine and Katie were the volunteers. Katie was scraped and bruised and she had to be taken to the hospital. Her riding helmet was cracked. After a barrage of tests to be sure there was no concussion, she was released. The policeman, named Joey stayed at the scene and called for help. His horse named Farran, had bucked but he managed to stay on. The horses didn't suffer any broken bones but they were bruised and cut up. Captain had a bloody patch above his eye and Peanut had a nasty gash around his mouth possibly from the bit.
Thankfully no one was seriously injured.The driver involved is the father of City Commissioner Sam Ings. He is 90 years old and said he couldn't see due to glare and his visor was down. It is unknown if charges will be filed. Veterinarians were quick to respond and the horses have been eating so hopes are high that they will pull through this tragedy.