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Suspected Drunken Rider Arrested after Horse Tramples Boy

COLUSA -- Police say a man was arrested Friday after his horse injured a boy at a Colusa parade.

The signature dancing horses are a staple at the Colusa County Fair and on Friday they were putting on a show once again.

Then one of the horses was filmed throwing its rider, Armando Ruiz, off its back and galloping right into the crowd of parade-goers.

Colusa Police Sgt. Elden Tamez was a few blocks behind the horses when it happened. He says the crowd got control of the horse but not before it trampled on an 8-year-old boy’s leg, breaking bones above his ankle.

Ruiz has been accused of felony DUI.

"I’ve been here 20 years and this is my first time charging somebody for this," Tamez said.

"The problem was him, it wasn't the horse, let me tell you something," said Fausto Ruelas. "You want to have a nice ride, you cannot be drunk on a horse, ever."

Ruelas has been organizing the dancing horses in Colusa for 17 years. He says riders have to be alert and react to the horse’s movement. Pushing a horse to dance too aggressively can cause the animal to act erratically.

"We’re just thankful it wasn’t bigger than it was and I’m sure we’re probably gonna take a look at including horses into our future parades," Tamez said.

Ruelas regrets what happened but says he hopes the county continues with the horses, adding that what happened Friday is the rare exception.

"To end this tradition this way is the wrong way," Ruelas said.

FOX40 tried to reach the boy's family. Police say he’s recovering. FOX40 also tried to reach out to the man arrested, who is no longer in jail.