12/29/2013 02:23 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Spooked Horse Sparks Melee In Griffith Park, Six People Injured

Six people were injured Saturday when a horse was spooked and bucked its rider along a bridle path at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center, causing a melee in Griffith Park.

According to witnesses, a group of about 15 horses was headed east along the pathway near Main Street and Riverside Drive in Burbank when one of the horses began to trot ahead faster than the rest of the group.

The horse the young girl was riding reacted to screams and bucked the little girl off. The surrounding horses were in turn spooked, and several also threw off their riders.

Several of the horses then took off riderless down the trail.

"It was day riders," said Lorie Martan, who was astride a horse headed toward the group along with a young girl she was giving a lesson to when she saw the loose horses headed her way. "They had a really large group and when the first one got spooked, it caused a chain reaction. We just stayed absolutely still and the horses ran right by us."

Martan, who stables horses nearby and frequently gives riding lessons along the trail, said there were quite a few children in the group she saw approaching her before the chaos broke out.

"They were likely just inexperienced riders, who didn't know how to handle the horses when something started to go wrong," she said.

Burbank Fire Department Battalion Chief Kenet Robertson said three adults and three children were taken to local hospitals with mild to moderate injuries.

"They appeared for the most part to be OK. The injuries were mostly caused when they were thrown from a horse," he said.

The horses were all safely returned to the stables of the private operator of a horseback-riding outings business with facilities near the trail. ___



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