A video was being circulated on social media this week after a Burbank police officer was captured on camera riding a horse that ran loose just after midnight Tuesday morning.
The horse named Oreo ran loose around town after it got away from its rider near the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Burbank’s Rancho neighborhood. The owner said he had just completed the equestrian trail at Griffith Park and was crossing the Mariposa Equestrian Bridge when Oreo got spooked and took off.
At about 12:30 a.m., Burbank police officers responded to the area of Riverside Drive and Mariposa Street after a concerned witness said she “saw a riderless horse running frantically down the street with a saddle, leading her to believe a rider may have fallen off and was hurt.”
When the officers arrived, they located the horse grazing on the grass in front of a residence. The horse had a saddle, but no bridle and reigns attached, police said.
According to a BPD statement, officer Nicholas Moreno, who grew up around horses, “calmly mounted the animal” and rode Oreo through the streets back to the Mariposa Equestrian Bridge where the owner was waiting.
“When I saw the horse, I saw that it was getting a little flustered as more units came to help us,” Moreno said in an interview that aired on NBC4 Thursday. “We knew there was no owner [in the area] so my concern was just getting it to safety.”
Moreno and Oreo were captured by traffic cameras trotting down Riverside Drive on their way to the Mariposa Bridge. Because no reigns were attached, steering the horse was a challenge, but Moreno managed to maneuver Oreo in the right direction, nonetheless.
“Another responding officer found the owner of the horse at the Mariposa Bridge, located at Valley Heart Drive and Mariposa Street in Burbank’s Rancho Equestrian District,” BPD said in a statement.
By the end of the evening, the owner was reunited with Oreo and officer Moreno could safely say he had shaken the rust off his cowboy skills.
First published in the May 27 print issue of the Burbank Leader.