Texas

Man who drove horse in truck bed on highway may face cruelty charges, Texas cops say

“Only in Texas.”

That’s what Ami Parbs had to say when she posted her video of a horse standing in the bed of a moving pickup truck on March 9.

The video shows a saddled brown horse with its mane blowing in the wind as a man in a cowboy hat drives the truck past a gas station and a hardware store.

Kerry Green Costello also saw the horse — “secured only with a rope” — while driving down Highway 59 near Corrigan, Texas, KPRC reported. That’s about 95 miles northeast of Houston.

She said the horse’s back hooves were halfway off the truck while it was traveling 55 mph, KPRC reported.

The truck reached highway speeds of 70 mph while the horse was on the truck, according to KTRK.

A photo obtained by KHOU shows a state trooper questioning the driver while in a Whataburger parking lot.

The driver was “pulled over and cited for defective tail lamp,” Corrigan police said, according to KTRK.

Police “noted that the horse’s back hooves were almost completely out of the back of the truck and the horse was secured in the pickup by the reins only,” KTRK reported, and he may face animal cruelty charges.

Texas law says it is illegal if someone “transports or confines an animal in a cruel manner.”

The police department said the driver was taking the horse to the stockyards in his truck because the truck that pulls his trailer wouldn’t start, FOX4 reported.

The “extremely well-trained” horse — valued at $15,000 — is now safe at the stockyards, police said, according to KTRK.

Still, Costello said she thought this “could have been a very dangerous situation,” according to KPRC. She’s a daughter of ranchers.

“Anybody who knows anything about horses knows they have embedded in their mind a fight or flight response,” she said, according to the Houston TV station. “(I thought) anything spooks this horse, (and it’s) a danger to this horse, this driver, the other people on the road and me and my husband and our two 5-year-olds in our car.”

Horse owner Donna Skura told KTRK at RodeoHouston that she also thought this was unsafe. The rodeo was not connected to this incident.

“You don’t know what the horse is going to do,” he said, according to the station. “He’s so big over the sides.”

Clarification: This story has been updated to reflect that Corrigan police say they have cited the driver.

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