Horsemen, sheriff’s officers catch elusive wild stallion after hourslong chase

Douglas County’s version of sasquatch has been found.

A wild stallion had been sighted several times in the past eight months around county roads east of Vinland, and neighbors have said the horse had been loose for about five years.

An organized search began Tuesday when a group of horsemen and Douglas County Sheriff’s officers caught the elusive wild horse after several hours.

Sheriff’s deputy Jill Smith saddled her own horse and was joined by members of her family, including her brother, Jeff Smith, who helped eventually lasso the horse and load him into a trailer.

“He had apparently been loose and no one had been able to catch him for a considerable period of time,” said Lt. Kari Wempe, a sheriff’s spokeswoman. “Calls had been coming in quite frequently over the past eight months.”

Jeff Smith said the party chased him for about 40 miles before they were finally able to safely rope him.

The horse, a red roan Appaloosa, was taken to a farm described as a horse rescue near Overbrook, Wempe said.

Authorities are hoping to find the horse’s owners.

The horse posed a safety problem not only to himself but also to motorists and especially because he roamed the roads at night, officers said.

“I don’t know if anyone’s ever hit a deer but this animal was probably four times the size of a deer, so if a vehicle would have come in contact with it, it would have caused a lot of damage and a lot of harm,” Jill Smith said.

“We’re very happy the horse came away uninjured,” Wempe said. “No one was injured as far as our horsemen or our deputies.”

The horse, a full-grown stallion, was resting Wednesday, said Sherry Davidson, who operates the horse rescue.

“He’s a bit lame from all the running he did,” Davidson said. “He’s calmed down. He’s actually approached me and let me pet his nose, so he’s settled down.”

If the horse’s owner can’t be found, then Davidson said she will try to rehabilitate him and find a home for him. If you think the horse is yours, please call the Douglas County Sheriff’s office at 841-0007.