5-Year-Old Dies In Freak Horse Riding Accident

San Mateo County sheriff's deputies have released the tragic details related to the horseback riding death of a 5-year-old girl in Woodside on Thursday. Full Story
Peter

Palo Alto, CA

#21 Oct 14, 2008
This is a tragedy. It is always possible too look back and find faults, because none of us is perfect. I am heartbroken to learn of this incident.

Sammy, why don't you let us know the license no of your truck? I guarantee I'll shoot your tires out, you self-righteous son of a @#$% who has apparently never made any mistakes in life.
Aimee - Redwood City

Cupertino, CA

#22 Oct 14, 2008
Sammy wrote:
<quoted text>
I won't keep my comments to myself. Because, I have been through Equestrian competitions. My kids started when they were in their teens. I don't know the level of this little angels instruction. But I do know that age 5 is way to early. Any trainer will tell you that. You say she asked her parents? How F$^%$#@ STUPID is that. If my 5 year old asked me to drive my 6000 pound truck should I say yes. If and I say if this little girl asked to ride a thousand plus horse the answer by any sane parent would have been a resounding "NO". She was not ready the parents and the instructor should be charged with child endangerment. Who the F&^% would give a 5 years old lessons. Someone needs to go to jail. The trainer, and the stupid parents. The end result is that a little is dead, because the parents wanted to live their lives through their daughter and wanted to brag about what their daughter is doing. I am sure she would have preferred to have been at home play with her dolls, not living her parents dreams. Put these selfish parents in jail, and the trainer who accepted her also.
Your comments are mean spirited and also absurd. I have been riding horses since I was 3 years old (I am 37 now) and so have many people that I know. This was a freak accident plain and simple. A child can be killed doing just about any sport if they are in the wrong place at the wrong time. Would you judge a parent who let their 5 year old play golf just as harshly? People have been hit in the head w/ golf balls and died. I am sure baseballs too. It's not like we see kids dropping like flies from riding horses. Overall, when done safely there is minimum risk....but yes there is some risk. There is also risk driving our children around in cars and even from riding their bikes....need I go on. This is a horrible tragedy but it wouldn't stop me from allowing my young children from participating in equestrian sports if that is what they wanted to do.
So sorry

Lafayette, CA

#23 Oct 14, 2008
So sorry to hear of your loss. May god be with you through this difficult time....
Menlo

United States

#24 Oct 14, 2008
Sammy wrote:
Who the F&*^ would let a 5 year old on a 1500 pound horse. Typical, parents trying to live their lives through their children. Because they have the money to do it. A child is dead because of your selfishness. UnF&^(ing believable. Rest in peace little girl. Parents, I hope you suffer for your selfishness, the rest of your lives. YOU killed your daughter, on one else.
Your words are hateful and hurtful and speak more about you as a person than the family who suffered this tragedy. Try a little compassion.
Paul

San Jose, CA

#25 Oct 15, 2008
Aimee - Redwood City wrote:
<quoted text>
Your comments are mean spirited and also absurd. I have been riding horses since I was 3 years old (I am 37 now) and so have many people that I know. This was a freak accident plain and simple. A child can be killed doing just about any sport if they are in the wrong place at the wrong time. Would you judge a parent who let their 5 year old play golf just as harshly? People have been hit in the head w/ golf balls and died. I am sure baseballs too. It's not like we see kids dropping like flies from riding horses. Overall, when done safely there is minimum risk....but yes there is some risk. There is also risk driving our children around in cars and even from riding their bikes....need I go on. This is a horrible tragedy but it wouldn't stop me from allowing my young children from participating in equestrian sports if that is what they wanted to do.
I think you have been hit in the head too many times! It's your prerogative
to let your child do what they want but, in your case,is a 3 year old, or 5 year old, old enough to make this decision? No! The instructor who was not certified needs to be held accountable as well as the owner of the riding academy.
Weavie

Cupertino, CA

#26 Oct 15, 2008
My heart goes out to all involved, however to the people who don't know anything about horses, keep your slanderous statements to yourself. That's you, Sammy. You are talking out of your *ss. I've owned QUALITY barrel horses for over 30 years and have worked on the racetrack for the BEST! Accidents happen unfortunately. Sammy, I suspect that you may have gone to school in one of those 6-seater yellow buses with your face pressed against the window.
uncle

United States

#27 Oct 15, 2008
my name is arlen to the little girl who passed... uncle arlen, all she thought and talked about was horses she loved them it was a horse camp she was riding a pony please relax your thoughts and let us mourn I don't know why I even bother on this page such ignorance this is not a beauty pagent child this was a bright driven little one who's parents hearts would break if they ever saw such ugly comments. peace to you hopefully you find it.
A friend wrote:
<quoted text>
Sammy,
The fact that you own a 6000lb truck speaks volumes to all of us about you. Your expert knowledge does nothing at all to aid anyone who has to suffer this loss. It only, weirdly, makes you feel superior in this subject? I concede your super intellect about horses but please keep it to yourself.
If you had but the slightest incling of the family this has affected you could not for one second contemplate writing another word.
Sammy

San Jose, CA

#28 Oct 15, 2008
Weavie wrote:
My heart goes out to all involved, however to the people who don't know anything about horses, keep your slanderous statements to yourself. That's you, Sammy. You are talking out of your *ss. I've owned QUALITY barrel horses for over 30 years and have worked on the racetrack for the BEST! Accidents happen unfortunately. Sammy, I suspect that you may have gone to school in one of those 6-seater yellow buses with your face pressed against the window.
Wow. Are there people like you still out there. For starters I am 65 years old, I grew up on a ranch in Santa Rosa, when Santa Rosa was Santa Rosa. I now own that ranch. We raise horses mainly Quarter Horses and Appaloosa's. I have forgotten more about horses then you will ever know. But your comment about the bus is uncalled for. I know you are referring to disabled children. You are a sick b--i--t==c==h. Ironically I open my ranch many times a year to children with disabilities to come and ride our horses, have done so for for 50 years when I was a kid and continued to this day. We have professional instructors and caring people. With an ambulance crew standing by at all times. We have never had an accident. But for you to talk about children with disabilities like that shows me what kind of a sick demented person you are. You have no business around children or animals. You sick B____I______T___C++++H.
Liz

Coeur D Alene, ID

#30 Oct 16, 2008
you know what, Sammy has a point here: he probably put it crassly but it also made him angry. With good reason. No doubt it was an assumption about the motives: he shouldn't have said that. I learned to ride as a teen. When one of my kids wanted to ride, she was not allowed BY THE STABLE until she was seven. A very experienced old horseman told me that under about seven and a half the kid was just a passenger and if I wanted to take her for a pony ride, fine, but it wouldn't really be "riding" and she would not have the mental facilities to know what to do if something unexpected happens. Her interest in horses passed. I don't want to turn this into an english vs western thing BUT. I find it interesting that it was an old western trainer who saw no reason whatsover to put a little kid on a big horse even if the kid wanted to real bad. But the English trainer I took her to eventually (distance issues) had lot of little kids bopping around all over the place. By the way, I ride English. just so you know. I just don't feel a barn is a place for anyone under a certain age. I don't care if you got away with it as a kid and nothing bad happened. I agree with this trainer who said that a little kid doesn't have the mental ability to see a problem coming and take the steps necessary to stay safe. I too would like to know if it was a pony or a horse. And why safety stirrups were not used when they are so widely available and clearly this wasn't a cheap-o establishment. Yes, accidents happen, but my feel is you take calculated risks. And putting a five year old on a big horse no matter how much she begs is asking for trouble. Take her to the fair and let her ride ponies. Let her collect model horse and read horse books while she waits to be old enough to ride safely.
Yes, Sammy put it crudely, but I don't think he is a bad guy (assuming he is what he is representing himself as) these questions need to be asked to prevent it from happening again. Cars are dangerous, but we have minimum driving ages to reduce the danger.
I believe it was in the same general area that that little girl crashed a plane. Jessica something??? It is up to parents to find out if their kids are truly old enough to do what they want to do as safely as possible and to say "no" if they are not.
Mike

Brooklyn, NY

#31 Oct 16, 2008
Sammy you are way out of line on this. People here about such a story and it touches a nerve within them. They want to reach out and offer something but also get something back. It's a sad, tragic event.

Then you come along with your idiotic comments.

Obviously, people are wishing this never happened and no one needs to hear how smart you are and what a good parent you are.

Why don't you show your kids the postings you are putting up, arguing with people over who's responsible for this tragic death.

No one came here to argue. They came here to use this as a venue you to send wishes and promote something positive.

Then you show up with your ignorance.

Take a chill and find something positive to do with yourself.

Mike
Horrified by humanity

Philadelphia, PA

#32 Oct 17, 2008
In times of tragedy we are so quick to judge and condemn. Can we not at least let the family, friends and barnmates grieve before we pontificate? As someone who has experienced the loss of a fellow rider, I can tell you that nobody wanted this to happen, nobody ever thinks it will. Everyone will look for the reaon "why" and try to find someone to blame (the horse, the rider, the parents, the trainer, the owners, the weather, god). That is how we make sense of something that seems so very senseless. The truth is, a little girl died and people are suffering more than they ever imagined they could or would. Her family has lost their baby, must we also be cruel. What purpose is that serving?

There is not question that riding is not a "safe" activity. We absolutely should always work toward mitigating the risk, but we should have the humanity to let people mourn the loss of this precious child and take time to rejoice in the joy she brought the world in her short life before we jump on our proverbial pedestals. Rest easy little and watch over us all.
Beverly

Doylestown, PA

#33 Oct 17, 2008
My heart and soul hurt for all, The parents, and the trainer. We just lost a girl last year to a freak riding accident. And for the rest of my life I will mourn her loss.She rode at our facility for 9 years.And we all loved her very much.She will open her arms for your angel, I am sure.Please know our prayers and love are with you.
Beverly

Doylestown, PA

#34 Oct 17, 2008
My prayers are with the family and trainer and friends.
Arlene and Mike

AOL

#35 Oct 17, 2008
We refuse to dignify the truck driver's comment with a direct reply. For the record, the parents of this child are the most loving, dedicated, involved parents we have ever had the good fortune of knowing. They are anything but over-indulgent. They enrich, teach and love their children with deliberate and thoughtful care. They exemplify the standard that all parents and all human beings should strive to attain. As one of us is a Doctor of Veterinay Medicine, we understand the equine character and state with confidence that this was obviously and simply a tragic freak accident.
Horrified by humanity

Philadelphia, PA

#36 Oct 17, 2008
Thank you Arlene and Mike. Humanity is alive and well.
Lizzy

Mountain View, CA

#37 Oct 17, 2008
The parents have very most likely learned their lesson and the loss of their little girl will be a scar on their conscience and minds forever. no one deserves to be punished like these parents will be, because each and every day they will have a burden on their shoulders. They will be filled with regret and remorse, and they are probably being torn apart by their emotions right now. what should be discussed is not how the parents should go to jail. I am sure they are suffering more than jail time will ever bring or teach them. Having their barely toddler ride horses was a mistake. Mistakes happen. Just like the conductor who killed himself and other people by accident by driving the train into an oncoming train. These "Accidents," happen and are very sad and horrific. But our comments should be about support, remorse, sadness, or love, not of vengeance for parents or trainers.
Jen

London, Canada

#38 Oct 17, 2008
How dare truck driver say such wrong and hurtful things to such a beautiful and caring family that were so terribly hurt by this freak accident. The parents of this little treasure are dedicated, loyal and have the wonderful nature of giving their children every opportunity they can. This couple lives to fill their children's lives with happiness. They exemplify all that is good and righteous.
kim

AOL

#39 Oct 17, 2008
seriously people no one wants to hear life stories and what not... dont be so selfish.. i myself think this was very preventable and it shouldnt have happend but there is no reason to say such crude things when you couldnt begin to feel the pain this family is going through, let the professionals do their job with the legal aspects..try to be human.
Kelly

Philadelphia, PA

#40 Oct 18, 2008
I am not 100% certain what happeend to this poor baby. But I know her family must be beyond crushed. To judge them now is cruel. I lost my 16 year old daughter April 24th when she cam eoff her horse and died of multiple skull fractures. She ahd been riding since she was very small. She was wearing a helmet. I will never recover from losing her. 5 years old is not too young to start riding if done carefully and intelligently. Since I would imagine Bubba wit the big truck was not a witness to the lessons or that accident, I woud also imagine they have no real insight as to what happened that day and perhaps should leave their judgements to their own actions in life.
These parents did not kill their child and how sad that you could be so cold.
My prayers will be with this family as I know the hearbreaking journey they must now live every second of their lives. Pray for them before you judge them.
LRM

Hyattsville, MD

#41 Oct 18, 2008
I agree that a 5 year old should never be put on a full size horse, but what about on a 10 hand Shetland Pony? Would that be reasonable?

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