Residents rally to round up runaway mare
A Fish Springs woman said she was amazed at the effort strangers made to find her runaway horse on Monday.
Deb Walker was at the Stephanie Way equine staging area getting Tequila the Horse ready for a ride.
“While I was getting things ready, out of her halter she came and with tail in the air, she took off to the vast Northern Nevada lands,” Walker said. “I was stunned and really didn’t know what to do.”
Two riders from Kids and Horses grabbed the halter from Walker and rode out after Tequila. Walker’s riding buddy Petra Keller arrived not long after Tequila took off and suggested Walker post the missing horse to Facebook.
“That is when I realized this community would change my life, impact people all over the nation and eventually find my horse.”
The post got 100 shares on the Minden-Gardnerville Community Page. Strangers offered to saddle up to find Tequila, whether their mounts happened to be horses, dirt bikes or off-highway vehicles.
Walker said that besides an early sighting in Coyote Canyon, the search had turned up nothing.
That’s when her friend saw a Soaring NV aircraft towing a glider overhead. Keller called Carson Valley photographer J.T. Humphrey, who contacted Soaring NV owner Laurie Harden.
“J.T. Humphrey called me to ask if our gliders could look out for Ms. Walker’s horse, which somehow slipped its halter and ran away,” Harden said. “We were having a very quiet day, so I sent the tow pilot out on a search. Tony Hulse used to crop dust, so he is good at flying low to the ground. He reported position and sent a screen shot of his GPS location.”
Walker said that they could tell Hulse had begun his search pattern, and before long he dipped the aircraft’s wings, indicating he’d spotted Tequila.
“Soon after, we received a text with Tequila’s exact coordinates and a picture,” Walker said. “I texted the pictures sent to me to everyone searching.”
A college student named Blane, who lives in the area, was able to put the coordinates into his hunting GPS and rode off with his dad to fetch Tequila.
As the rescue party attempted to capture the horse, Walker said she got updated pictures via text, including one where Tequila had been haltered and was being escorted back to her owner.
“This community rallied around a horse and a rider they did not know, but cared about. Many out-of-town friends on my page were just amazed at our Valley and residents as they followed the day’s events,” she said. “I’m so proud to be part of this valley and blessed to be living here.”