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Fireworks spook horse at Trumbull fair, injuring deputy

Published: Sun, July 8, 2012 @ 12:06 a.m.

Charges expected against rodeo operator at event

Staff report


The Trumbull County Sheriff’s Office plans to file felony charges Monday against the operator of the rodeo that performed at the Trumbull County Fair Friday night after an illegal fireworks show spooked a horse ridden by a mounted deputy who suffered multiple injuries.

Allen Smith, 76, of Orangeville, suffered two broken ribs, a punctured lung and a broken shoulder in the fall caused by the fireworks, said Capt. Harold Firster of the sheriff’s office.

Smith is in St. Joseph Health Center in Warren and is expected to remain there until at least today, Firster said.

A rodeo official was advised before the show that fireworks were not permitted without a license, but fireworks were lit anyway, and they spooked the horses in the rodeo and the horses used by the mounted sheriff’s deputies, Firster said.

Deputy Rick Tackett said felony charges related to shooting off fireworks without a license are likely to be filed Monday after consulting with prosecutors.

The fair website called the event Broken Horn Rodeo and said it featured bull riding, bucking broncos, barrel racing, steer wrestling and team roping.

The Trumbull County Fair concludes its 2012 run today. A fireworks display is planned at about 10 p.m. tonight at the fairgrounds in Bazetta Township.


1slappysmith(55 comments)posted 4 years ago

a 76 year old deputy?

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2hellokitty(161 comments)posted 4 years ago

Horses that are properly trained for mounted patrol work are desensitized to distractions such as loud/sudden noises, movement, etc prior to being put into service. However, even with proper training, accidents can result, as horses are living, breathing creatures, unlike motorcycles or cruisers.

Local mounted units are volunteer, and utilize horse-savvy citizens (and horses) by swearing them in as Reserve Deputies.

My best wishes for the elderly gentleman on his recovery...

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3paulydel(1607 comments)posted 4 years ago

Maybe the horse was retired too.

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4cheygirl(2 comments)posted 4 years ago

Thank you, hellokitty. I am one of the volunteer mounted deputies from Trumbull Co. Deputy Smith is also a regular deputy. He loves the mounted unit & is as tough as they come. He & his horse have been through the mounted certification. Deputy Smith will have surgery Monday due to the punctured lung. I will pass your best wishes on to him.

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5hellokitty(161 comments)posted 4 years ago

cheygirl, if Deputy Smith is as tough as most old horse folk, he'll be riding again before too long ;) I had several friends that rode well into their 90's!

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6cheygirl(2 comments)posted 4 years ago

You can bet he will be back riding! I hope I will still be riding when I'm his age! He came thru surgery, broken ribs were still puncturing his lung. He's patched up, rearing to get out of the hospital!

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7joebag09(354 comments)posted 4 years ago

I'm not defending the use of fireworks or questioning the law.... but give me a break, 76 year old deputy? I'm sorry, but he is a liability, period. I respect the fact he wants to work, contribute, etc. I just think he is a little old to be on mounted patrol or wearing a badge. What if this was an all out brawl he was in? I also believe the horse should be better trained for this type of duty. What about other sudden noises? I'm sorry he was hurt, but we all have our limitations. I don't care how "tuff" he thinks he or anyone else thinks he is, at 76 your clock is winding down. In this day and age the lack of respect for law enforcement is detrimental to your well being as it is, without sending out a person almost 20 years past normal retirement for a law enforcement officer!

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