Horse escapes owner, runs loose on Fiesta Island - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Horse escapes owner, runs loose on Fiesta Island

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) — Beachgoers at Fiesta Island were doing a double take as a horse ran free.  

A runaway horse spent the night on the island after breaking free from her lead.  

The horse's owners had to call in police and the Humane Society. 

The horse's name is JLo and she was from Riverside.  

The 6-year-old horse was playing in the water at Fiesta Island and when it was time to go -  JLo refused. 

Her owners recorded cell phone video of her shortly before JLo made the decision not to go home. 

Owners Cynthia Tapia and her son Joaquin, visiting from Riverside, couldn't get JLo back into her trailer Tuesday.  

The horse got spooked and broke free from her lead as they were trying to load her in with her two siblings. 

"We had a crowd trying to circle in but she would just get spooked," said Cynthia Tapia. 

They called in the San Diego Police Department, then the San Diego Humane Society. 

Officers were there late into the night but it was deemed unsafe for the horse and officers.  

So Cynthia and Joaquin spent the night on Fiesta Island watching over the horse.  

"Our main concern was she was going to go out onto the street, on the highway," said Cynthia. "We tried to keep her secure in here."  

Early Wednesday morning, crews brought in metal fences to corral her. 

They also brought in "horse whisperer" Sgt. Laurel Monreal. 

"I was just trying to gain her trust without putting pressure on her," Monreal said.  

She tried to approach JLo but she was not interested . 

"If she felt pressure, she very well might go over those panels," said Monreal. 

She tried to coax her with food but JLo refused. 

Monreal finally got close enough to pet her. 

At one point, they used food to try to clip on a rope, but no luck 

This process could have gone on for as long as 10 hours so crews switched plans. 

They used the fences to make an enclosure increasingly smaller, trying to coax JLo into the trailer.   

Finally JLo trotted in.  

"She decided to go in there on her own calmly, which was our goal all along" said Monreal 

"I'm glad they came out they were like lifesavers," said Cynthia.  

"All in all a successful operation," said Monreal 

Cynthia is so grateful to the San Diego Humane Society for all their help Wednesday and she's glad JLo is safe and sound back home.

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