A Colorado deputy is being called the “cowboy cop” after reining in a runaway horse that was running loose in a neighborhood.
According to the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office, Deputy Ian Sebold quickly brought the horse under control, mounted it and rode it three miles through traffic back to its home.
The sheriff’s office joked on a Facebook post about the incident, saying the horse “tried to make a clean getaway but Deputy Sebold was much too quick.”
“The cowboy cop responded to the call, wrangled the horse, jumped on its back and rode it to safety,” the department said. “The horse, by the way, is in stable condition.”
Deputy Sebold, an 82nd Airborne veteran, learned his horse-riding skills after growing up on the family ranch and patrolling on horseback for the Arapahoe Mounted Unit. In addition, Sebold said that his military training taught him how to do things “on the fly.”
When Sebold arrived at the scene, the horse was trying to cross a four-lane major highway.
“I saw the horse crossing the road, and it’s a four-lane major roadway. I could tell he was terrified,” Sebold said.
The cowboy cop could sense that the horse was lost and just wanted to go home.
“A citizen was walking nearby, trying to stop traffic to allow him to get across,” he said. “You could see in his face, he didn’t know what to do on a major roadway. He just wanted to go home, but didn’t know how to get there.”
Eventually, deputies found the horse at an apartment complex with a crowd of people gathered offering carrots. Without a trailer to transport the horse, Sebold decided to ride the horse back — surely a first for his career.
“With no trailer to take him home, the simplest idea was to ride him back. There was no saddle, no halter, but I got a boost — old school way — and hopped on. To me, the biggest question was how to get this horse safely out of a major residential area. We were not walking those 2.6 miles,” Sebold.
Fellow deputies formed an escort to make sure the horse and rider could safely navigate intersections, including a 55-mph highway.
Sebold and the horse made it back to the pasture at sunset with the owners trailing behind. He could tell the horse was exhausted after having run free for four hours.
The Arapahoe Mounted Unit praised Sebold for his “incredible horsemanship” riding a strange horse without a saddle for miles in traffic.
“Deputy Sebold is riding a strange horse, who is almost certainly scared, down the street in vehicular traffic, with nothing but a halter and lead,” the unit posted on social media. “That’s some incredible horsemanship, to say the least.”