Horse vs. Horsepower: a standoff between NYS trooper and a horse brings back history


CANISTEO, N.Y. (WETM/TV) – A standoff between a wandering horse and a New York State Trooper brought back a piece of history of the New York State Police Department.

Trooper Mike Buchinger got a call on Friday about a horse in the road in the town of Canisteo.

Sure enough, the trooper found the horse. However the horse refused to move, staring at the patrol car as if to say, “This is my road. Get out of my way.”

Trooper Buchinger tried to lure the horse back to his home with a hay-alfalfa mix. The horse was more interested in licking the salt off the patrol car.

That’s when he snapped a picture of the horse facing the car in a standoff.

“The horse was wandering, ended up on the road,” said Buchinger. “I had him walking towards me with some hay. He just walked up to the car, and I was standing off the road just trying to just lure him down to the pasture so I could get him secured for the owner. And he just walked up to the car, I saw an opportunity and I took the photo.”

According to his owner, David Patton, the horse got a taste for salt after licking his pick-up truck. His enjoyment for licking salt off cars plus his age created a combination for a very curious horse. Someone even commented on social media that just maybe the horse thought that the patrol car was a pretty mustang.

It took the State Trooper a few minutes to finally lure the horse with food, but he didn’t stay in his pen for very long.

“He got back out again within an hour or so,” said Patton. “I wasn’t very happy with him about that but I got down there and got the gate open. And got his bucket of food down there and he came running down there. I had a few little things to say to him, but mainly it was, ‘Stay in the pen please!'”.

Countryversil Style a.k.a. Country

The horse’s name is Country, short for Countryversil Style, and he’s three years old. He likes to munch on his fence and vest. Country also loves being a little mischievious.

For a three-year-old horse, he’s escaped his pen many times. Country broke free of his pen three times in the past three years, making this recent one, one of his yearly excursions.

“He ended up following the food, once he got bored with the car,” said Buchinger.

The horse vs. horsepower standoff resolved itself mostly, but Trooper Buchinger says this exchange sparked an idea within him about his station.

“I mean we came from horsemen,” said Buchinger. “In the past, the State Police was founded as the Gray Riders, and we started on horseback patrolling the rural areas of the state. So having, you know, the old and the new side by side, that was one of the reasons I took the picture.”

For more information about the Gray Riders, here’s a link to the PBS documentary.

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