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Report: Injuries at local attraction

Thursday, June 05, 2014   by: Staff

City police report two adults were injured in an incident involving a runaway horse at a local attraction today.

A desk sergeant said the Ontario Ministry of Labour is currently investigating the incident at Mockinbird Hill Farm, though police were initially called to the scene.

The injuries involved were non-life-threatening, said the sergeant.

A Ministry of Labour spokesperson confirmed an inspector is on scene investigating an injury at Mockinbird Hill Farm, but he said details of the incident were not available.

(PHOTO: Mockingbird Hill Farm is closed June 5, 2014 as an investigation occurs into injuries at the attraction. Armstorng)

Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
johnnyc 6/5/2014 3:33:59 PM Report

Farmer Bob is a kind-hearted man who cares about his animals and the children. I hope whoever was hurt heals fast.
julia_goulia74 6/5/2014 3:56:12 PM Report

I was there with my sons class and it was an unfortunate accident. There were three parents hurt and the kids were shaken up. Farmer Bob did what he could and prevented something worse. I hope for the best to the parents who were hurt but im sure there will be no more sleigh rides in the near future
protein 6/5/2014 4:11:11 PM Report

Why no Sleigh Rides? That's jumping the gun don't you think. Farmer Bob is a kind hearted gentleman this will get sorted out.
Newsjunkie 6/5/2014 4:27:33 PM Report

My nephew's class from F.H. Clergue was there today - hope everyone is ok.
~~BrOwN EyEz~~~ 6/5/2014 5:19:59 PM Report

It was a simple accident ,it wasn't ment to happen and I'm sure farmer bob feels supper bad about it. And I highly doubt he will stop the sleigh rides from it. If that's the case then they better stop the laird fair caz horses seem to get loose and run there too. I hope the adults are fine and can forgive farmer bob for what happened!
LillyGirl 6/5/2014 5:46:25 PM Report

It was a simple accident. I would not starts assuming things. Im pretty sure these are fairly new horses as well, Maybe not use to this kind of stuff. Glad everyone is ok and hope he opens up again soon, we love going to Farmer Bobs :)
Alystr 6/5/2014 8:19:21 PM Report

These were pretty serious accidents actually. Woman with 2 broken legs and a younger male adult with stitches and possible sprained ankle. Farmer Bob did all he could do to make things as best he could. It would have been much much worse if not for him.
iamtc 6/5/2014 9:04:50 PM Report

Farmer Bob farmer whatever close down this place for good I don't think it's safe place to bring your children if this happened today it will happen tomorrow.
polaris 6/5/2014 9:47:23 PM Report

You're an idiot.
julia_goulia74 6/5/2014 9:47:53 PM Report

This was not just a simple accident. When people get hurt it is pretty serious and it could have been more serious. So i probally will not take my son there for any hay/sleigh rides, but maybe just for corn maze to still support Farmer Bob.
Sam C 6/5/2014 9:48:56 PM Report

iamtc... you're entitled to your opinion, but I have been to Bob's a few times, and have never had any problems.
little lulu 6/5/2014 10:02:52 PM Report

This was his first accident in 30 years. 30 years is a pretty good track record! It was an ACCIDENT and everyone who was there realizes this and is not laying blame.
Wisenheimer 6/5/2014 10:09:46 PM Report

Quick someone call PETA ... and furthermore I'll bet Mockingbird Farm has no transgender wash rooms or wheel chair ramps or safe injection sites.
Doug Millroy should get on this case and get those poor horses liberated, so they can spend their remaining days at Maple Leaf Farms.
Wisenheimer 6/5/2014 10:14:45 PM Report

And yes Polaris, you're pretty much right on regarding Iamtc.
Oreo cookie 6/5/2014 11:42:48 PM Report

Rest assured plebs because this quasi hillbilly hangout is sanctioned by "the right man for the job"
and the backwards municipal jurisdiction of Sault Ste. Marie and as such it is unlikely that there will be any MOL charges or orders to comply, regardless of the number of safety hazards or unsafe scenarios...unlike the Private sector government is bound to a different set of rules...there are no rules (that mean anything). If this was a Private For Profit enterprise the "horse manure" would've hit the fan...another waste of TAX PAYERS money.
Floyd 6/6/2014 4:38:19 AM Report

Was there about 15 years ago with an SK class and experienced a near accident on the hay ride. Horses bolted around a corner and I would say we were very lucky. Heard the same story from others that visited at other times. Also, at another visit, I witnessed a small goat fall from the top of the "feeding" ramp. Humane Society was called then. Not sure if anything was done.
dadal 6/6/2014 5:56:03 AM Report

In all the years Farmer Bob has run this place, there has been MINOR incidents as one would expect working with animals that CAN be unpredictable. This is the first MAJOR incident.

Close the place down??? REALLY??? That's like saying ban Hockey because a child was hit with a puck while playing. Or ban Baseball for a wild pitch. Or better yet, BAN driving cars because one accident happened on a street!

Here's our small town mentality shining bright yet again. Manure happens. Odds are eventually it will for anything that is repeated over and over and over again. Animals are not well behaved and tend to be unpredictable. I'm sure the horses involved are now removed from performing that task. As for goats falling from the sky, well, goats climb. Unline a child you can't say " get down or you'll hurt yourself" to a goat. Well you CAN, it just will look at you, poop and go baaa.

Stop over reacting parents and people of the Soo. If you wish to deprive your child of the enjoyment of being up close with animals then so be it. You may be the type of person that gets rid of a puppy because it play bites your child. 30 years without a major incident and you want to throw this experience away. How sad....
tosimple 6/6/2014 7:24:08 AM Report

Here is a good guy doing something good in this city. People are on this site knocking him down. But these people have no issue putting there children on a ride at the fair... LOL Keeping in mind the guys who put the rides together and run the rides are STONED outa there heads........ Get a grip people!!!! Stop acting and talking like a horse a*s
Miss_Lee 6/6/2014 7:30:02 AM Report

Wow... Get your pitchforks and torches out much.... Way to big of a deal is being made of this. My five year old was on that ride when the horses freaked, my "mom" was one of the unfortunate people that was injured, my daughter is fine (as were all the other children) and I'm not about to try and take Farmer Bobs business away. First off, has ANYONE considered maybe Bob doesn't even want to do rides after this accident? As scary as it was for all of you imagine what it was like for him, unable to stop the horses. Instead of pulling out your pitchforks everyone why don't you take a step back and think how that poor man must feel and you're all ready to lay down blame and ruin a mans life's work.
Farmer Bob I Andy family support you fully!
Floyd 6/6/2014 7:38:21 AM Report

Maybe you people should visit a real farm and see the difference.
Plasma_X 6/6/2014 8:01:20 AM Report

Gotta love the bird-brained simpletons in this city that have to make their idiotic viewpoint known to everyone.
Farmer Bob has been running that sleigh/hay ride for at least 30 years and I have never heard of one accident until now. That's a pretty good track record. Accidents happen - you could walk out your door and get struck by lightning - it's called life. Thankfully in this case no one was killed and hopefully the individuals that were hurt have a speedy recovery.
Floyd 6/6/2014 9:27:11 AM Report

EVERYONE is entitled to their say. Not everyone thinks that Mockingbird Hill Farm is an outstanding operation. While the MOL is onsite, they should check the safety of the bell in the "church" of these days, it's going to cause a "simple accident" and the end of that story might not be too good.
newgirl 6/6/2014 9:35:19 AM Report

I agree with miss-lee, my son was also on the ride. Please, if you don't know what your talking about refrain from commenting. Farmer Bob's actions stopped an already bad situation from becoming worse. Even well trained animals are unpredictable at times, this is a chance you take when you visit attractions such as this. I wish Bob well and hope the injured heal quickly.
Lovethenorth 6/6/2014 9:35:43 AM Report

It's too bad that some people were injured, and there may indeed be ways to make the farm safer for visitors.

But the bottom line is that horses will never be completely predictable. There will never be zero risk in any farm setting. If you are looking for zero risk, stay home and watch a hay ride on youtube.
blg_Daddy 6/6/2014 10:02:27 AM Report

ok so Farmer bob dropped the reins which caused the horses to run free , bob said "whoah" a couple times and the horses did not respond to this , then he went along for the ride which ended with the horses crashing into a fence 700 meters away from where the run began , there was no heroic action on his behalf . the horses seemed high strung and while Bob may be a likeable fellow , they were definitely beyond his physical limitations to control.
blg_Daddy 6/6/2014 10:07:19 AM Report

I personally believe that all people should visit a farm in their lifetimes people should know where their food comes from and how its treated . With this being said however , this particular farm is inappropriate for kids as young as those who were there (4 and 5 year olds ) especially with the light supervision and the complete lack of safety precautions or guide lines
9Les123 6/6/2014 11:41:26 AM Report

Are we open yet. My kids are ready to go and see the animals this year. they love going there
LillyGirl 6/6/2014 1:19:28 PM Report

My apologies. It was a pretty serious accident. I saw pictures of a women I know who has her calf ripped wide open and had to under go surgery.
It was a freak accident. In all the time Farmer Bib has had him farm this is the FIRST accident that has happened to my knowledge.
These are new horses as well. He has had them less then a year. The older horses were there for years and years. These are fairly new and getting use to pulling a cart.
Im sure Farmer bob feels bad enough then to have to read on there he should shut down the farm. Hes a very responsible man. He would not of did the rides if he thought there was any danger. Sorry to say but sometimes shit happens. Its not his fault.
I will still bring me children there if he remains open.
Best wishes and a speedy recovery to those injured.
Cyndi 6/6/2014 5:20:32 PM Report

Well, it was my sister whose leg was ripped open, and both ankles sprained, and had surgery last night, and today is feeling every muscle in her back, shoulder and neck throb immensely, and has recovery and therapy ahead of her for months to come..... Oh, and no one mentioned her INFANT she was holding during the whole ordeal, as well as her other young son witnessing the whole thing.... If they were new horses, they shouldn't have been heading a sleigh full of young children that make a lot of noise.... We are lucky that none of the children were hurt.... As for my sister, who was to return to work as a nurse from maternity leave later this month, she's not so lucky. I've been to the farm many times over the years, and yes, s*#t happens, but it seems more and more people would rather sweep it under the rug than take responsibility for actions..... What about the months of missed work and missing income coming up for my sister and her family..... I realize it wasn't meant to happen and Farmer Bob more than likely feels terrible, but unless you were there, how do you know it couldn't have been prevented? And, maybe someone should go in and re-evaluate the operations and equipment being used....
julia_goulia74 6/6/2014 5:42:27 PM Report

@Cyndi...I was there with your sister until the ambulance arrived and didnt realize it was as bad as I thought...PLEASE let her know I am thinking of her and I hope for a quick recovery. And yes if you were not there you dont know the facts.You dont still hear the screams and cries of the kids involved. I do feel bad for Farmer Bob and not sure of the future of that business but it did happen and a serious accident occurred and I just hope that NEVER happens again.
LillyGirl 6/6/2014 7:25:55 PM Report

No one said it could of been prevented. Just like a car accident, accidents happen. I can imagine she is in immense pain, I saw the pictures and it doe snot look nice at all :( I did hear she was baby wearing as well and Im grateful no kids or babies were hurt. Yes its a terrible thing for children to witness. Thats the risk you take when you go on adventures like that. Nothing is 100 percent safe. Sorta like do at your own risk kinda thing.
This is all the years hes been there is the 1st accident. I dont know if it was the horses fault, i assumed as they are new, i did hear one of the things broke that you control the horses with and then it went all bad from there. But this is just HEARSAY
Bob must feel horrible. Im sure there will be law suits and medical and missed employment needs will be met.
I wish a speedy recovery for all those involved. Therapy is not a fun thing to have to endure. And her injuries will not be forgotten anytime soon. Shes lucky to have her leg.
spike17 6/6/2014 8:18:03 PM Report

This was a tragic incident. Accidents do occur and it is saddening. No lives were lost which is a blessing.
Farmer Bob has been a pillar and educator in the community. He created Mockingbird Hill Farm to share his love of history with the public. He lovingly crafted the farm to share with everyone in the Soo.
Who hasn't been there and been brought joy by partaking in a sleigh/hay ride, brought their children there to run in corn, bought a pumpkin, made or bought maple syrup, cut down a Christmas tree, got married in the Church, sang Christmas carols there with their families, petted or fed an animal, meandered in the wildflower walk contemplating life...who hasn't learned something by going there? For 30 years this man shared his dream with you and worked countless hours on perfecting it for all in the Soo. He made additions and brought new attractions. He did this for you because of his love of his home town.
I guarantee that he took every safety precaution to prevent an accident. He ran his own beloved horses into a fence to protect the people on that ride and prevent further tragedy.
I understand emotions can run high during a time like this but I truly hope that the injured parties can find it in their hearts to forgive Farmer Bob and chalk this up to an accident. Please don't destroy a dream that took 30 years to create and brought so much joy to all of us over the years.
Floyd 6/6/2014 8:48:08 PM Report

Sorry.....saw the goat fall off the ramp. (Goat gets fed if it goes up the ramp)
Church Bell teetering on rotten wood....don't let your kids ring that bell. Working farm? Dirty Farm!
Have you ever been out there with a class full of kids when "BOB" brings out the bushel baskets full of chips and snacks? Makes it seem like it's part of the deal! Well when you've only got about 6 parents on the trip and all the other kids want the feel like a shithead if you buy your kid something and the others go without. Time the Conservation Authority took back their land....YES...THEIR LAND!
AshleyL 6/6/2014 10:06:33 PM Report

Cyndi...I was on the wagon with your sister at the time of accident and spent much time following trying to keep some of the kids calm...they were all very shaken up especially the ones who had their adults injured..since the incident I have not been able to get your sister and her family out of my mind...having 2 children close in age to hers I cant imagine what she will be going through for the next bit while she tries to run her family and recover...glad to hear she has some family around to offer assistance. Please let her know that us other parents are thinking of her. Also it seems the class has been talking alot about bravery and strength since the accident...starting yesterday while at the farm when one of the children came up to me and said how strong and brave their friends mommy was being. Maybe having earned such revere among the children can bring a smile to her face during her recovery.
Cyndi 6/6/2014 10:18:32 PM Report

Okay, seriously stop. No one is blaming Bob, I'm not and my sister is not, it was an accident, but, there is always a cause to an accident, correct?!?! I haven't read one thing so far in these comments with the correct information. The fact is, my sister is laying in a hospital, seriously injured (but not dead because that would be the only tragedy according to some),not because she's a wild one who took a chance on a hay ride, idiot, but because she was supporting Farmer Bob and his business in volunteering for her sons educational field trip. Farmer Bob is NOT the victim. He is at home with his family probably a bit shaken, it is my sister who is away from her 4 children and husband, who cannot walk or run (which is her passion btw), and unsure if she'll ever get complete feeling back in her leg and foot. Did any of you know that the "kind hearted gentleman" didn't even ask if she was okay after the ordeal, or if the baby was okay???? And no, he didn't run them into the fence, they ran into the fence because control was lost. Again, we know it was an accident, but don't you DARE put blame on anyone there and injured for going for a hay ride. That truly is ignorance.
Cyndi 6/6/2014 10:32:19 PM Report

Ashley, thank you. She will definitely appreciate that! Those simple words of kindness brought tears to my eyes, which is hard to do. I will pass it along!
AshleyL 6/6/2014 10:54:35 PM Report sure theyll have lots of help from friends and family but if theres anything I can do feel free to ask...just send a note to school for jordans mom
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