Equine Rescue

Man Rides Emaciated and Abused Horse 700 Miles

Source: Channel 7 News Miami

“Investigators said the horse was not provided with any food or water throughout the journey and was extremely underweight and malnourished.”

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SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) – A man who traveled on foot from South Carolina all the way to Miami has been arrested after his horse was found malnourished and in urgent need of medical attention.

According to Miami-Dade Police, Christopher Emerson walked with his horse, Trigger, from South Carolina all the way down the Florida coast to Southwest Miami-Dade over the span of a couple months.

Emerson said he left South Carolina with his horse after getting into an argument with his wife. “I just had a bad rough patch with my wife. Got a divorce, I wrecked my truck, the whole country story thing.”

Emerson has since been taken to the Miami-Dade County jail, Wednesday evening. “Ride a horse in America and you get locked up,” he yelled at the camera from behind the fence.

Throughout the final leg of their journey, witnesses who observed the man and the horse contacted police about seeing the extremely weak and malnourished horse. A Florida police department then sent out a BOLO in search of the man.

On Wednesday, the man and his horse were finally discovered along U.S. 1 and Southwest 142nd Street. The man was immediately arrested for animal cruelty and taken in for questioning. Investigators said the horse was not provided with any food or water throughout the journey and was extremely underweight and malnourished.

However, officials and witnesses believe, he actually used the horse to panhandle his way down the coast. “You can see his shoulder blades here, you can see the top of his spine, the individual vertebrae on his spine, all of his ribs,” explained Laurie Waggoner of the SPCA. “He was using this horse as a way to make money, and this horse is the one who paid for it.”

Trigger is now safe at the SPCA. Officials said the horse has a healthy appetite and is filling up on hay and essential nutrients.

A veterinarian looked at Trigger and said he is definitely underweight. “A horse can easily be ridden from South Carolina to the Keys as long as they’re fed properly and in good condition,” said Dr. Zachary Franklin. “Don’t ride a horse that’s in this condition.”

Officials at SPCA hope Trigger will make a full recovery.

Police said they found Emerson while he was sleeping in a bush and Trigger was tied up along U.S. 1. He said he wanted to make it all the way from South Carolina to Key West to go snorkeling.

Emerson remains behind bars with a $15,000 bond.

Man rides malnourished horse from South Carolina to Miami

12 replies »

  1. Ben Masters, in making his film “Unbranded” had one horse named Cricket, die from a broken neck and severed esophagus (described as “natural causes” on the Unbranded” website. After that, the tail was cut off by a rider and taken. Two horses were injured. But Ben Masters was appointed to the National Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board.


      • Dee, I saw the film and as I recall something spooked the horses in the night and they took off, and Cricket was found dead. They cut off some tail hair as I saw it, which a lot of people do to make momentos of a favorite horse. I don’t think they chopped off her entire tail–that makes no sense and would be horrible to carry around for people and the other horses–I thought they just clipped some hair.


  2. I hope that someone will see that this horse is taken to a permanent safe and happy place, and away from this psychopathic monster. Will they?


  3. People who use animals to make films and who allow animals to be injured or killed, should be prosecuted. This is happening far too often to helpless animals who are doing all they can to please humans, and who are brutally abused and even killed. Ben Masters, instead of being appointed to an advisory board, should be prosecuted for what happened to Cricket, a horse whose neck was broken and esophagus severed, and two more horses injured. What kind of mindless idiot would appoint someone of his ilk to an animal advisory Board??? Please tell me.

    What has happened to this country when mindless, uncivilized people are allowed to harm horses? Why wasn’t this information made public? The film, “Unbranded”, should be banned. I am sick and tired of brutal people who harm animals. Hopefully they will pay, even beyond the cruelty and death they inflicted on animals. And hopefully, after paying the penalty of Karma, they will then fry in Hell.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. These people are Despicable and anyone that is cruel to animals should be punished as they are devils in the eyes of most kindhearted people.


  5. I saw the video and agree, the horse is thin but haven’t found any references to his age. He also looks like a gaited horse who is lanky naturally. The headline is misleading, too, since it implies the horse was “emaciated” when he started out, which doesn’t seem realistic or the horse wouldn’t have made it as far as he did. He also clearly DID eat and drink along the way or would have died. The writer was implying no extra feed was brought along, but the horse was allowed to graze along the way, something the man probably had to do, too. This man owned the horse for some years prior, it seems, so if he had been starving the horse all along it would have died long ago. Honestly I’ve seen thinner horses at horse rental places and in private boarding stables. There is more to this story and I hope it comes to light, and both horse and rider get some needed food and rest!


    • I don’t know how anybody could defend animal abusers of any kind whatsoever. There is no way, in my opinion, to justify the cruelty to this horse, nor to the abuse of animals and the death of one horse in a film.


  6. Ben Masters is an idiot and never should have been appointed to his post! The man who rode his horse from Carolina to Florida should be locked up and prosecuted for animal abuse. Some people look at animals as a possession and think they can treat them any way they want. Until our laws get stronger against animal abuse these kind of actions will continue. And this is so sad!!


    • I agree, and the poor judgement of humans to appoint a self-serving user of animals who causes their death does not deserve any recognition other than as a selfish and cruel abuser. Horses have saved us from the beginning of time, and helped us in every way, but now they are used, abused, and even sold for slaughter. Where is justice? Where are civilized officials who will stop these atrocities?


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