Naked man riding horse injured in Castlewellan Forest Park fall
A man in his 50s was left with a broken arm and a dislocated shoulder after he decided to go for a naked nocturnal horse ride in Co Down.
The incident happened at around 11pm last Wednesday close to the Mount Pleasant Equestrian Centre on the Bannanstown Road, near Castlewellan Forest Park.
Patsy King, co-owner of the equestrian centre, said he was alerted to the incident when police asked for the keys to a gate on one of his fields.
"I saw an ambulance heading up the road towards the picnic area, just up the road from Mount Pleasant," he said.
"They said there was a guy in the field and they wanted to get him out, I asked why he couldn't get out the same way he came in but apparently he couldn't."
Patsy was worried that someone may have died or had a stroke in the field and followed the emergency services to the site.
"There was a car parked, a camp fire was going and two or three young guys were standing there," he said.
"Beside the car on the grass was a ground sheet, I asked the young guys what was happening and they said there was a guy in the field riding a horse and all his clothes were lying there.
"There were only a couple of horses in the field, the other is a miniature so he obviously tried to get on the bigger horse."
Patsy reckons the man tried to get on the horse but unfortunately for the naked novice the horse in the field was "unbroken".
"There never was a saddle or person on it in its life so as soon as he tried to get on its back it would've went bucking bronco and thrown him off," said Patsy.
"He was lying beside the wall, completely starkers and there was a policewoman shining a torch on him while the ambulance crew were treating him.
"They eventually put a blanket around him and put him in the ambulance. I would say horse riding for him is a non-starter."
He added: "The young guys said there was nobody with him and they had heard him shouting for help as they were driving up the road."
However, Patsy remains sceptical about their explanation.
"Where he was positioned is more than 20m from the road but whether they were with him or not, I don't know, but they disappeared quite quickly after," said Patsy.
"My brother and I think they were trying some sort of stunt for YouTube or something and it just went wrong."
He added: "I checked the next evening and he had a broken arm and a dislocated shoulder - so much for his bareback riding."
Patsy, who said it was the first time this had happened in his 50 years at the centre, admitted there weren't any precautions he could take to prevent further occurrences.
He respectfully asks anyone who wishes to ride horses at the centre to book in advance, bring a riding helmet ... and clothes.