Runaway horse located by sheriff's helicopter

Here’s a miraculous story you don’t hear everyday.

An equestrian is bucked off a rescued horse. Scared, the horse takes off into a preserve, sending law enforcement into a real horse hunt.

Once a thoroughbred winning racehorse, claiming a $100,000 title, Tiger was then tossed to a former owner’s field like garbage.

Emaciated he came to live at the stables at Equestrian Rescue and Adoption Foundation, or ERAF, in Palm City where Ashley, who adopted him works. She adopted Tiger and nursed him back to health.

“It’s unfortunate because he is such a great horse, and loves people,”said Ashley Villoresi, "He was a mess. He was very thin and had rain rot all over his face, hind legs and back.."

Tiger thrived with Ashley for 3 years, and then during a foxhunt training this week, she was thrown from his back.

"The first couple hours were awesome and then," said Ashley shaking her head remembering it,”We were going full bore on a straight away and he slams on the brakes- goes sideways and leaps it sideways- so I came off I got left behind."

Uninjured, Ashley searched for 7 long hours.

"We went out on horse back and the rangers in their vehicles and no one could find him."

Fearing the worst, that Tiger could get hit by a car or even get aggressive with a child if he was afraid. She didn’t know what to do, so she called 911.

Martin County Sheriff’s Office responded with the air unit and Agricultural unit on horseback, as well as multiple deputies.

"They were so thoughtful about everything- it wasn’t like it was just a horse that went missing- how a lot of people have reacted They knew how important it was to find him," Ashley said.

The same helicopter that tracks down the bad guys during a police chase, that is what the sheirff used to find Tiger in under 45 minutes, who was afraid hiding in the thick brush.

"We got our helicopter up, our ground units in there, our agriculture unit- but at the end of the day Tiger was fast and won a lot of races, but he couldn’t outrace that helicopter," Sheriff William Snyder said, with the Martin County Sheriff’s Office, “That was all our excellent team working together to get him home.”

Tiger is back in his stable, but it is the end of his foxhunting career.

To support ERAF, who help horses get rescued, rehabilitated, and adopted, go to

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