Freak mishap kills young horse rider

Published 5:00 am Monday, August 19, 2002

A Louisiana teenager died Saturday at a Jackson hospital frominjuries she sustained after jumping off a runaway horse at a showat the Brookhaven/Lincoln County Multi-Use Arena.

The accident involving Jaclyn Garza, 19, of St. Francisville,La., occurred around 6 p.m., Saturday after she finished an eventand was riding the horse near the parking lot during a point showsponsored by the Southwest Mississippi Horseman’s Association, saidLinda Case, president of the association.

“She was running it. Nothing spooked it. It just ran away andshe jumped off,” said Case. “I have no idea what happened after shejumped off.”

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Witnesses were unsure if Garza was kicked by the horse after shejumped, or if she hit her head during the incident, said TerryReid, director of the Brookhaven Recreation Department, whichoversees activities at the arena on Beltline Road.

The accident was a shock to those at the event, as well ascounty and city officials who were informed Monday morning.

“In over 45 years of being associated with horses I’ve neverseen anything like this,” said Case. “It was just a freak accident,just a terrible, terrible thing.”

As soon as Garza hit the ground in the parking lot, someonecalled medical personnel to the scene.

“We called 9-1-1, and the ambulance took her to King’sDaughters, then she was airlifted to UMC, where she died,” saidCase.

No one at the scene knew why the horse took off and headedtoward the vehicles in the parking lot, said Reid.

“Nobody saw anything, that I’ve talked to, to cause it,” hesaid.

Case said the accident was a tragic loss for riding associationsand the family.

“It’s the kind of thing you hear about, but hope you never see,”she said.