Drone blamed for spooking horse, injuring 3 at Silverton skijoring race

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SILVERTON, Colo. — Three people were injured after a horse was spooked by a low-flying drone at the eighth annual Skijoring Race in Silverton on Saturday, the Durango Herald reports.

One woman suffered a gash to back of her head and another woman suffered a hip injury. Both were transported by ambulance. A man suffered a bloody chin and was treated at the scene, the Herald reports.

As the horse, rider and skier prepared to leave the starting line, the horse grew agitated by the low-flying drone, the Herald reports.

Handler Tim McCarthy of Aztec, N.M., yelled and waved at the drone to get the pilot to move it, but it still spooked the horse.

The left of the course, where five to 10 people had gathered to watch the event. Several were knocked over while a few others were able to get out of the horse’s path by a large snowbank.

The pilot will be given a citation for flying a drone over a crowd, San Juan County Sheriff Bruce Conrad told the Herald.

Organizers said they will no longer allow drones to fly over the event or to have spectators stand near the starting line where there are no barriers.

Skijoring involves skiers holding a rope as the horse pulls them through a series of gates and jumps. The event in Silverton, which is 50 miles north of Durango in the San Juan Mountains, covers four blocks.

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