A teenager riding a rescue horse during a 4-H show at the Andover Equestrian Center galloped down Aviation Boulevard to roundup another horse that fled the fairgrounds.
Jeanette Newland, of Crownsville, said Icy, a rescue thoroughbred at the competition Sunday, may have been stung by a wasp before she broke free at about 1 p.m. and ran off from the county-owned center near BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport in Linthicum.
“She pulled back hard enough that it snapped her halter right at the ring ... and pranced her way right out of the farm,” Newland said.
She and others tried to corral the horse, which shied away from their efforts and fled to Lindale Middle School next to the center, an Anne Arundel County Department of Recreation and Parks facility official said.
That’s when Caroline Shoults, 16, of Severna Park, rode up on Tinkerbell, a horse she rescued last year from a kill yard, brought back to health, and then trained not only as a jumper but also to tolerate riding in traffic.
Shoults and Tinkerbell went after Icy as the runaway headed out Andover Road toward Aviation Boulevard — the busy road that rings BWI and connects to several major highways.
Shoults said she didn’t think twice about heading after Icy, a horse she’d never seen before.
“I can’t say I was scared because I had a mission to get that horse,” she said. “I couldn’t bear to see that horse get hurt and I was pretty confident in my horse.”
Shoults bought Tinkerbell in April 2017 and had her shipped to the Triple Turn Farm in Pasadena the following month. A rider since age 8, she worked to bring Tinkerbell back to health and then sell her. Instead, she found a willing learner she decided to keep.
“She was really skinny,” Shoults said. “She’s very level-headed.”
Galloping after Icy, Shoults knew Tinkerbell couldn't catch the thoroughbred over a short run.
“The safe option was to tire it out,” she said.
So, Shoults and her horse followed — first at a gallop, then a canter that at times took them into oncoming traffic.
Behind them was Newland in her car and 13-year-old Julia Young in the back seat capturing the chase on video. Shoults and Tinkerbell can be seen chasing along beside Icy, attempting to herd the animal off the road.
At one point, an Anne Arundel County police officer pulls up beside Newland’s car. The officer sounded a yelp from his siren, and Julia can be heard fretting the noise will spook Icy even more.
“No! Don’t make noise!”
Shoults guided Icy off the road into a grassy area, where she slipped off Tinkerbell and looped a halter over the runaway’s neck. Icy’s owners, who were following behind Newland with a horsebox in tow, arrived to get their horse aboard with lots of thanks.
Newland posted Julia’s video on Facebook that day and after being contacted by Viral Hog — a service that buys rights to popular online videos — agreed with Julia’s mother and Shoults to sell the rights. They hope to use the money to buy another rescue horse.
Newland is one of several owners keeping rescue animals at De Novo Farm in Gambrills.
The group headed back to Andover, where Shoults discovered organizers of the 4-H competition had held the final jump event for her return.
“We placed third … which was exceptional considering she had just galloped three miles.”