A 45-year-old Colorado Springs man is facing charges of drunken horseback riding, animal cruelty and the prohibited use of weapons after University of Colorado police on Monday interrupted what he claimed was a 600-mile journey from Larkspur to Bryce, Utah, to attend a wedding. The incident began at about 2:15pm when police dispatchers received a report of a man repeatedly hitting his horse in the area of Broadway and Baseline Road, University of Colorado-Boulder police said.
Witnesses told police the man hit the horse hard enough that it reared up on its hind legs. CU Police officers said they later saw the man near Broadway and College Avenue riding his horse, Dillon, while carrying his dog, a small pug named Bufford. Officers observed the rider was slumped to his right side in the saddle as he crossed streets and forced pedestrians off the sidewalk, police said. Officers asked the rider, Patrick Neal Schumacher of Colorado Springs, to dismount from the horse.
Police said Schumacher slurred his words, appeared intoxicated and failed roadside intoxication tests. Officers found a small, black-powder pistol and beer cans in Schumacher's saddle bag. When officer's asked Schumacher about reports that he was striking his horse, the man said that he was just trying to hit a fly on Dillon’s head. Police arrested Schumacher for animal cruelty and prohibited use of weapons, riding a horse while under the influence of alcohol and reckless endangerment.
Schumacher police that he was travelling by horse from Larkspur, Colo., to Bryce, Utah - a 600-mile journey by car - to attend his brother's wedding. Schumacher said he previously lost his driver’s licence, so he decided to ride his horse to Utah, police said. Court records show that Schumacher has also run into trouble with the law while driving a car. In 2000, he was arrested in El Paso County for felony vehicular assault, leaving the scene of an injury accident, speeding and possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, according to court records. Schumacher pleaded guilty to felony vehicular assault and was a given a three-year deferred sentence.