After nearly two weeks of grid-by-grid searches along the Howard and Carroll County line, a missing 10-year-old horse was found with only minor injuries by three hikers Wednesday evening roughly three miles from the trail where he ran off during a ride Memorial Day weekend.
Owner Susan Crawford, of York, Pa., said she had spent all day June 8 continuing her search for her horse, named Play Doh, and was overjoyed when she received a telephone call and learned he had been found.
Crawford, a member of the League of Maryland Horsemen equestrian club, was separated from Play Doh on May 27 when the horse slipped on the trail's steep incline at Patapsco State Park, where she was riding and camping. , A search party was immediately formed, garnering help from league members, Maryland State Police, Howard County police, mountain bikers and hikers.
A community page, titled, "Where is Play Doh?" was created on Facebook and gathered more than 1,100 likes.
According to Crawford's recent post on the page, Emily Perryman, Vlad Konstantinov and David Sugar were hiking along railroad tracks in the area when they saw Play Doh caught on a branch.
"He had his sponge leash tied around his leg and his saddle was flipped onto his side," Crawford said in an interview Thursday morning. "He had all his tack with him. They cut him loose and led him back to the Woodstock Inn."
Crawford said the hikers had seen posters of the missing horse at the inn earlier in the day, so they were aware of the search. They found the horse about a half mile away from the inn.
Sugar, of Eldersburg, and Perryman and Konstantinov, both of New Jersey, could not be immediately reached for comment.
League members joined Crawford as they loaded the horse into a trailer and brought him back to their campsite, where a veterinarian treated the horse's deep cut and minor lacerations.
"He had a bunch of other little rubs from the tack, but otherwise, he doesn't look skinny, he wasn't dehydrated and he looks in pretty good shape," Crawford said.
The vet will provide additional medication later today, she said, and Crawford and Play Doh will return home tomorrow.
"It really is overwhelming. You just don't know how you're going to go about thanking everybody for what they did," Crawford said. "The people who walked, hiked or drove around to find him, who flew drones or cooked food for us and brought food over — it was just so overwhelming."