Day At The Track

Racehorse dies after fall through ice

02:01 PM 15 Jan 2019 NZDT
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Jonathan D. Ford Stark County Fairgrounds Stark County Fairgrounds Stark County Fairgrounds Stark County Fairgrounds
Police arrested Jonathan D. Ford, 28, who formerly lived in Canton and now has a Mansfield address, on charges of breaking and entering, disrupting public service, inducing panic and possession of drugs.
Stark County Jail Photo
Stark County Fairgrounds
CantonRep.com - Michael Balash Photo
Stark County Fairgrounds
CantonRep.com - Michael Balash Photo
Stark County Fairgrounds
CantonRep.com - Michael Balash Photo
Stark County Fairgrounds
CantonRep.com - Michael Balash Photo
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A suspect is facing charges after releasing more than a dozen harness racing horses from the Stark County Fairgrounds.

More than a dozen racehorses roamed the city’s west side early Monday morning after a man let the animals out of a barn at the Stark County Fairgrounds, police said.

One of the horses later died after falling into the icy water at Meyers Lake.

Canton Township firefighters tried to rescue the animal, but it drowned before it could be reached.

Police and firefighters from several area departments, assisted by volunteers, managed to round up 14 other horses that were released and wandering area streets.

Horses let loose from Stark County Fairgrounds, roam through Canton

Dale Klick, president of the Stark County Agricultural Society, which operates the fairgrounds, said the 14 horses were returned to the barn and were seen by a veterinarian.

Area trainers and owners board horses at the fairgrounds and use the track for training. The animals released Monday morning are harness racing horses that run at Northfield Park.

Police arrested Jonathan D. Ford, 28, who formerly lived in Canton and now has a Mansfield address, on charges of breaking and entering, disrupting public service, inducing panic and possession of drugs. Police said Ford had two different types of marijuana when he was apprehended. He was taken to the Stark County Jail.

Canton police haven’t determined why Ford released the horses, said Lt. Dennis Garren, public information officer.

Police were called to the fairgrounds just before 5:30 p.m. and told the horses had been released. Ford was still on the property. Responding officers said Ford told them the horses wanted or needed to be freed.

The horses ran through the neighborhood, police said. Officers and firefighters worked to keep the animals away from main streets, according to police reports.

Perry Township police and firefighters and Canton Township firefighters helped with the effort. According to police, it took nearly two hours to get back to the barn.

ShaneandRachel Taylor I took this video about 6am heading east on 12th to 13th St.. Just past Myers Lake. Did not want to turn light on camera. They already seemed pretty spooked. Facebook. Commented on The Canton Repository / CantonRep.com's public post

Canton Township Fire Department’s water rescue team was called around 7:30 a.m. when a resident reported seeing an animal struggling in Meyers Lake. Firefighters arrived to find the horse swimming about 100 yards off shore.

Assistant Chief Rick Morabito said thick ice near the shore made it difficult for the rescue team to get into the water quickly. The horse was treading and moving farther from shore as the rescue team reached open water. Morabito said the team was about 20 yards away when the animal went under.

By Edd Pritchard 


Reprinted with permission of the GateHouse Media Ohio 

Reach Edd at 330-580-8484 or edd.pritchard@cantonrep.com

On Twitter: @epritchardREP

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