Horse and carriage rider reunite after wild weekend ride in Old Montreal
Published Monday, April 30, 2012 10:51PM EDT
MONTREAL - Nobody could blame Milana Vinokur if she decided she didn't like horses anymore.
But the 52-year-old Ontario tourist said she's willing to forgive and forget after a horse got spooked while she was taking her first caleche ride Saturday and ripped through Old Montreal, before tossing her to the curb.
Despite the traumatic experience, which was caught on tape by CTV Montreal, Vinokur wanted nothing more than to meet with the horse, named Ulysse Monday.
Ulysse got loose and ran at top speed east on Notre-Dame St., then down St. Vincent St., where he squeezed through two black poles and onto the cobblestone portion of the street. It was there that the carriage hit a pothole and smashed into pieces, and Vinokur fell from the ride.
Ulysse's owner, Luc Desparnois, said the horse was spooked after bumping into another caleche.
"The horse got his bridle hooked up on the top, the roof of the other carriage, and once the horse was stuck, he wanted to get out of there," he said.
When five-year-old Ulysse became trapped, his driver got off the buggy to untie him from the other carriage.
When he did, he untied the bridal, losing his ability to steer him. Ulysse was off to the races, damaging cars and forcing pedestrians to jump out of his path.
Vinokur said she thinks the incident was preventable.
"When the horse got scared, I should have probably been told to get off and first take care of the horse and calm him down," she said.
Desparnois said he worked with the animal Sunday and everything went well, so he'll continue to use him for caleche rides.
There are no hard feelings though between Vinokur and Ulysse, whom she met under calmer circumstances at the stables Monday.
"The horse himself is not dangerous. That's why I wanted to see him and that's why I wanted to help people understand not to be scared of animals," she said, referring to herself as an animal communicator.
"They just wait for us to tell them what to do. They're like big babies," she said.
That's a 900 kilogram "big baby," of course.
Vinokur was grateful to be able to thank some of the people, including the first two men who came to her aid.
She's also inviting people to connect with her on Facebook to thank them, especially a young man and woman, who comforted her throughout her ordeal until the ambulance arrived.
She will return home to Toronto on Thursday, but first wants to stroll through Old Montreal to make some better memories.