Last Friday this image appeared on Denver’s Channel 9 news during some flood video shot from a helicopter. The horse appeared to be tied to a fence and abandoned in the rushing water. Like many others who saw this, I could not get it out of my head. I watched hours and hours of news coverage, hoping for further word on this horse. I wrote to the station, begging for a follow-up story. Today it finally came.
The horse’s name is Socks, and he’s safe. The 9News website now features full video of the story as it was aired.
Sock’s caretaker could not get all his cattle and horses out before the flood struck, so as is customary among ranchers here, he released the animals to seek higher ground on their own. Socks was not tied to the fence. What appeared from the air to be a rope was just a cable in the fence behind him. That was evident when the video was replayed.
The owner theorized that Socks was trying to join a second horse, a 2-year-old, that had gotten separated and ended up stranded with some cattle. He got as far as the corner of fence in the video and stood there stoically for a day until rescuers could finally get to him and lead him to safety.
That’s the story as it was told to the reporter who finally tracked down the owner today and interviewed her in the barn where 14-year-old Socks is staying temporarily. Horses, cattle, owner, and caretaker all safe.