Bar Owner Addresses Fatal Horse Accident in Murrieta

Annie Borel, owner of Joannie's Cantina, 24750 Washington Ave. in Historic Downtown Murrieta, said the horse may have had a training issue known as "barn sour."

The owner of the establishment outside which a horse was hitched Saturday before spoke out today about the matter.

The horse was hit by two drivers at about 8:20 p.m. Saturday on Washington Avenue about 1/4 mile north of Kalmia Street, and died at the scene.

Annie Borel, owner of , 24750 Washington Ave. in Historic Downtown Murrieta, said the horse may have had a training issue known as "barn sour."

The condition is also known as herd bound, according to an article on Horsekeeping.com.  "...It is natural for horses to want to be near each other because they are gregarious animals who, over the last 60 million years, have learned that they are safer and more content in a group," the article stated.

Horses that are not broken of the condition can suffer anxiety, the article stated.

Borel, who grew up handling horses, explained it occurs when a horse wants to return to its barn or place of boarding and it will do everything in its power to do so.

"That is most likely what happened," Borel said. "It is important for people to understand; it is better for the horse to be tied up for four or five hours until it wears itself down. When the horse is barn sour, it can be dangerous for the rider."

Borel was not at the bar the night the horse got loose, but said she believes that may have been the case.

While less than 1 percent of customers ride their horse to Joannie's, it is not uncommon to see them outside the business.

Customers often secure their horses to wooden telephone poles that were installed not to serve as a hitching post but rather to keep motorists from entered and exiting the establishment directly onto Washington Avenue, she said.

Hitch rails—also called hitching rails or tethering rails—allow riders to secure horses or mules for relatively short periods, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture website. The recommended height for hitch rails is 42 inches, or 3 and 1/2 feet.

The poles were placed at Joannie's when curbs and sidewalks were installed downtown, Borel said, and were for the safety of pedestrians.

"People used to be able to drive off the property anywhere before the curbs and sidewalks," Borel said. "It just seemed safer to remind them they needed to use the new driveway with the poles."

She said while she can not stop customers from riding their horses to Joannie's and using the poles to hitch their horses, she does discourage it. She has gone to the extent of planting oleanders—poisonous to horses—near the poles, she said.

"It is two worlds colliding, but it is a legal mode of transportation," Borel said. "How can I stop them?"

Borel said she planned to follow up with the city of Murrieta as to whether tighter regulations were necessary.

Murrieta police Lt. Rob Firmes said it is legal to ride horses on Murrieta streets. Regarding the accident Saturday, Firmes said the owner of the horse was not cited.

There were rumors that the man—who declined to identify himself to Patch—was under the influence of alcohol.

Firmes said that because the owner was not on the horse went it occurred, there was not a way for officers to tell if he had ridden the horse while under the influence.

The horse got loose from the poles at Joannie's, and may have been attempting to make its way back to its boarding facility near Kalmia Street, Borel said.

The drivers, who were uninjured by the impact, both told police they did not see the animal before they hit it.

A search of Murrieta municipal code as it relates to horses came up empty. However, police said California Vehicle Code allows for the riding of horses on Murrieta streets.

"There is a duty for a horse rider to make sure his mount is properly trained and accustomed to the types of things they might encounter when riding along or on a highway and the driver of a motor vehicle has to be courteous and give a reasonable margin of safety when encountering a rider," said Murrieta police Sgt. Jay Froboese. "It is risky taking any horse in public but with proper training it can be done with relative safety."

Thecitygirl August 28, 2012 at 03:54 AM
I love Murrieta! I wish there were more horsetails like Norco! My condolences to the owner of the horse!
Patch on my phone August 28, 2012 at 04:44 AM
Dare I say it? Further commenting on this story and why it happened and who is at fault is like ...... Well you know.
AFR August 28, 2012 at 05:35 AM
The owner is a 6 year old little girl wondering why the hell her daddy was at the bar all day, got drunk and got her horse killed. Idiot...
addy August 28, 2012 at 07:01 AM
So the owner purposely plants poisonous plants to deter people from bringing their horse.. What if you don't know its poisonous and you put your horse there.. I for one will NEVER go to her place knowing she is intentionally trying to poison horses... F all that..
addy August 28, 2012 at 07:02 AM
A simple sign saying she doesnt want horses there will do .. Not try to KILL horses
Carolyn August 28, 2012 at 12:24 PM
She should just take down the hitching post and I think people should boycott her bar
Sheri Lauzon August 28, 2012 at 01:01 PM
I agree!! What a bunch of crap!!! How about a sign or take down the pole!! Some people don't know that oleander's are deadly to horses!! How about, don't drink and ride!!! Annie needs to not blame the poor horse for the bad choice's from the human's!!!!!
CBR August 28, 2012 at 01:21 PM
1. Your dog cant eat oleanders nor can people. I don't the owner has a hit out on them also. 2. Anyone whom own a pet of ANY kind would know what they can have them near. So, to try to put it out there that this owner is trying to kill horses is not a route that should be taken. I feel you should put your energy into finding and reporting people that have horses that are not taken of or fed. Maybe you should rescue a horse or two.
CD August 28, 2012 at 01:51 PM
Really?! It's the horse's fault? Yes, it was barn sour, and not trained and I'm an expert horse person and trainer who doesn't want my ass sued and bad PR. Where was your expertise BEFORE the accident when the owner was in your bar? This is your best statement?! And you want these people on a public horse trail system?!!! Say what you want about Norco they would run the bar owner and the horse owner out of town!
Laurie Nunnally August 28, 2012 at 02:38 PM
Leave a horse tied to a pole for 4 or 5 hours to wear it out , really? Or plant some Oleander bushes to deter people from tieing their horses up to a pole, really? Well I guessif being tied up for 4 or 5 hours in 90 degree plus heat doesn't "teach the horse a lesson" maybe acouple bites of the Oleander bushes will... why is always the innocent that pay for the ignorance of others and in this case the poor horse...
Scott Cullings August 28, 2012 at 02:39 PM
Well Annie - Looks like everyone has an opinion. As for Addy and Carolyn, who both sound a bit mean-spirited and want to boycott Joannie's Bar, I will bet just about anything neither of you has EVER been there. It's a shame this happened, but do not question the responsibility of Annie Borel. She is a very responsible person and knows more about horses and stock than most people.
sarah August 28, 2012 at 03:13 PM
Doesn't anybody watch tv anymore they are only going to ad the guts and pieces to this story to make it exciting. I've known Annie for years and will continue to support her and get small town business. Incase you skipped that line, Annie wasn't even there and I'm sure shes just as concerned about the matter as anyone else is!
sarah August 28, 2012 at 03:14 PM
CD August 28, 2012 at 04:43 PM
Yes Scott we question Annie Borel. Don't claim to be an expert AFTER an accident. She's lucky no human was hurt or killed. As for Carolyn, she is an award winning trainer who has trained under HIGH level trainers herself in her aporentice years. She would have NEVER allowed the horse to be neglected as it was. There are lots of horse owners even humane people in general who would have handled the situation so it wouldn't have gotten to this tragedy. The bar owner was about the money and now she is covering her a$$.
CD August 28, 2012 at 04:45 PM
And keep in mind Scott, your bar owner friend is NOT the victim; the people and the horse involved are. They suffered the tragedy not your expert horse trainer bar owner.
LM August 28, 2012 at 09:44 PM
Taking your animal out in public comes with risks in and of itself. Using transportation (be it bike, car, horse, etc) has its own risks - together, it seems feasible, there would be a combined risk, which the horse owner was obviously willing to take. I am not even sure how anyone gets off on pointing blame at a business owner who wasn't present for having ANY responsibility in the outcome of this tragic scenario. Maybe the horse did have barn sour. Maybe it spooked. Maybe it didn't like being tied up out there. Maybe it wasn't tied well and it wandered off not realizing that it had to stay put...who in the heck knows? Experienced horse person or not, it's an educated guess at best (unless you were there and witnessed the event and spoke horse). It happened in front of this establishment, which happens to be a bar, they interviewed the owner and obviously asked what she thought may have occurred and she speculated. I've had my door dinged in parking lots. Is that the strip mall owner out to get me? It would be really nice to be able to ride your horses around town in 100% safety and have businesses have accomodations to tie them properly, etc...but every business doesn't have a rack to tie your horse or a rack to lock your bike either for that matter...and if a person knows that and choses to go there via that mode of transportation anyway then they have assumed the responsibility and risk for the outcome.
TheBod August 29, 2012 at 01:44 AM
I think there has been enough griping and finger pointing. This was a tragedy that could have been prevented in several ways. But to prevent similar accidents in the future, the city should ultimately pass an ordinance prohibiting the riding of horses (or any animal) on any roadway during the hours of darkness without a special permit.
KH August 29, 2012 at 02:27 AM
KH I agree with Major. A good Halter and Lead Rope would have prevented this. When I drove by and saw the horse standing there he was nice and quite, but only tied with his reins. It would not take a hole lot of pressure to break the snap on the reins. I drove by at 5:15 pm and he was killed at 8:20 pm.
Warren August 30, 2012 at 12:14 AM
Guess we should prohibit bicycles, skateboards, walking, etc. too! Special permits??? Are you kidding??
Horse owner August 30, 2012 at 03:21 AM
You must be either stupid or a democrat
Horse owner August 30, 2012 at 03:23 AM
I passed by and there were kids playing with the horse and the reins were untied and they were walking the horse approx 7:30pm so I don't think the dad is to blame
Horse owner August 30, 2012 at 03:28 AM
Wow how about reading your own profile ""One of the biggest problems with the world today is that we have large groups of people YOU who will accept whatever they hear on the grapevine, just because it suits their worldview-- not because it is actually true or because they have evidence to support it. What evidence do you have the dad was drunk or even in the bar. Kinda stupid on your part huh.
candy August 30, 2012 at 07:38 PM
candy August 30, 2012 at 07:44 PM
candy August 30, 2012 at 07:46 PM
Billy Finstershorts September 01, 2012 at 07:50 PM
No proof or evidence the horse owner was drunk? Really? HOW ABOUT THE FIRST-HAND ACCOUNT of one of the two men who were on the scene and held that innocent animal in their arms while it NEEDLESSLY died? The owner showed up and meandered in the shadows, not speaking & unemotional (be it grief, fear, shock, etc.). Only when approached & asked if he was the owner did he respond, at which time the unmistakable smell of alcohol was detected. No proof, my ass.
Murrietamemories September 07, 2012 at 11:21 PM
Wow. Alot of opinions on this one. The way I see it, it's the horse riders fault for not being more aware of what was going on with his horse. We all know how and why this happened, so does any thing else matter besides the fact the horse was the only fatality and hopefully this does not ever have to happen again ?
The MOM September 10, 2012 at 04:28 PM
What do you mean there were kids playing with the horse walking it around? This is the mother of the little girl whos horse it was... I need to know what happened. I can't get this off my mind. We had Quick for 15 years, he wasn't barn sower, I trusted him with my daughters life. She had been riding him sense she was about 6months old. Smartest, sweetest, well trained horse I've ever owned. We loved him so much, you have no idea how bad my little girls heart is broken and she doesnt' even know hes dead. I couldn't bear to tell her. Was the horse tied up or not? When we went back to the pole were he was tied the rein was still there. This is the first time I can even talk about this, it hurts so bad. The horse will never ever be replaced all that knew him loved him...
Lilchels January 31, 2013 at 11:07 PM
I have been riding my ponies & horses down this street since I could ride a bike & still do. Before sidewalks were a thought there.. Sh*t happens when you ride horses. Horses get away & run. The street used to have less traffic... It's not everyday something like this happens. But if the 1300 lb horse wanted to run & got upset.... Nobody can stop him. The owner & bar owner aren't responsible. People in this area should keep an eye out for horses... I had a motorcyclist slide under my horse trying to miss me a yr ago.... Keep an eye out for horses & equestrians. We are few these days but will continue to ride the streets ;) Especially old town murrieta...
Lilchels January 31, 2013 at 11:17 PM
And to the people saying riding should be not allowed...We were here first & have been here a very very long time. If you knew the area youd know the bar owner is not malicious & that people tie up horses regularly. Old town has always been horse friendly. Move if you see me coming, I ride a big ass paint. And to the family, I am so sorry for your loss... but sounds to me he decided it was time to go home being there so long. A horse can easily snap a reign like nothing. It doesn't sound like anyone's fault... Just a sad occurrence that could be prevented by watching your horse through a window. :(


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