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Posted on Mon, Oct 10, 2011 : 11:40 a.m.

Rescue crews return to Jenny's Dexter Market when child falls from pony

By Juliana Keeping

Rescue crews returned to Jenny's Dexter Market on Sunday after receiving a report that a child had been thrown from a horse.

Owner Burton Hoey said the 22-month-old actually fell off a pony.

"We don't give horse rides. We give pony rides," he said.

The child fell while sitting on the pony, estimated to be up to 4 feet tall. An employee said the child's father was on-hand when the child slipped.

"The father was walking next to the child, and the child slipped off the pony," Hoey said the employee told him.

He continued: "We make sure the parents attend to the child and hold onto the child while they’re going."

The incident occurred within two weeks of a serious accident in which a 23-year-old hayride driver fell from and was run over by a wagon that was full of passengers.

The market halted the hayrides but resumed them about a week ago.

Tim Burke, a lieutenant with the Dexter Area Fire Department, confirmed that in Sunday's incident, the father had been holding his child on the animal before the accident. He did not have further details, he said.

The child was treated on the scene and transported by Huron Valley Ambulance, Burke said.

The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration continues to investigate the Sept. 24 incident. A MIOSHA official said the investigation could take several weeks.

Juliana Keeping covers general assignment and health and the environment for Reach her at or 734-623-2528. Follow Juliana Keeping on Twitter



Thu, Oct 20, 2011 : 3:29 p.m.

Last time I took my child on a pony ride there I couldn't keep up with my child on the pony because my feet were stuck in the mud surrounding the ponies. My child was almost 3 so more able to hold on but still not proper conditions for parents to supervise their kids. I put my child on the pony and realized I would have to be feet deep in mud but before I could even get my child off the pony they had already started one was there to make sure the piny ride didn't start until all kids were safely on the ponies.


Tue, Oct 11, 2011 : 12:01 p.m.

There is the possibility in such situations of permanent spinal injury (which occurred to me when I fell off a horse), a closed head injury if the child fell on her head and other injuries. I hope the child is getting thorough medical care.


Wed, Oct 12, 2011 : 3:07 p.m.

I know someone who works around horses. Falls happen and when they do? It is scary indeed.


Tue, Oct 11, 2011 : 1:06 p.m.

I hope so too! She fell on her front / face, I witnessed it. Very scary.


Mon, Oct 10, 2011 : 10:16 p.m.

This is the classic American suburbanite meets real world farmer. We have kids that need to be helmeted for hours a day and triple bubble wrapped and parents who are oblivious to common sense caution around animals. The perspectives of working farmers who deal with animals every day will continue to diverge from the animal cartoon watching padded suburban wonders until both need to be permanently separated for their mutual "safety". Jenny's Farms better decide if this generation of their customers is just too emotionally, physically and intellectually fragile to interact with a real pony. Maybe they could replace them with a dozen or so coin operated mechanical wonders that come complete with warning labels and on/off switch.


Wed, Oct 12, 2011 : 3:19 a.m.

Kara: Some folks here seem to have a grudge going against Jenny's Market and slander them left and right, making them to blame for any accident occurring (lets look up "accident"). I don't think anyone is blaming the father, except probably himself, as any father would. I think the comments here are very tongue in cheek and meant to point out its silly to blame anyone - it was an accident, not negligence. Accidents happen, and as hashed and rehashed during the last one, any activity with an animal has the potential to be dangerous, although much less so in a confined close ring with a walking harness on. Doesn't make anyone to blame. At the end of it all, parents need to decide if they will let their children risk living in the world, and accept getting hurt, and the potential for serious injury which can and does occur from time to time. The other option is to "bubble wrap" them and become a helicopter parent, which studies seem to indicate doesn't produce adult well. Being a parent is the hardest job in the world, as much for the worry as the work.


Wed, Oct 12, 2011 : 2:27 a.m.

Thanks for clarifying - youre description is even more disturbing. I hope dad doesnt own a motor cycle or snow mobile.


Tue, Oct 11, 2011 : 7:17 p.m.

Apparently people want to make this about gender for what possible reason, I don't know. First, the mother put the baby on the pony and the father walked alongside the young girl. Yes, the father could have been at fault, but having witnessed the incident first-hand, I don't believe he was other than for having a 22 month child ride on the pony. One of the ponies "spooked", reacted, and the lost his grip. Could have happened with a 4, 6, 8 year old riding the pony. It could have happened to anyone, but what bothers me is the blame on the father, that he was negligent. He seemed a very LOVING father when I saw them waiting in line for their turn to ride the pony. Perhaps it was poor judgment on both the parents, but to criticize him on this particular incident I think is unfair. I don't feel he was, other than for having such a young child ride on the pony ride. It's so easy to judge without having known the circumstances.


Tue, Oct 11, 2011 : 2:54 p.m.

I could not agree more and whole heartedly with all of these comments. I hate to say it mine is a little of an air head too.


Tue, Oct 11, 2011 : 12:54 p.m.

The father didn't drop the baby, I was there. My daughter was on the pony ride at the same time.


Tue, Oct 11, 2011 : 11:45 a.m.

Hmmmm. Let's see. It has animals and crops. They seed, fertilize, harvest their land. They even have tractors. You're right, NOT a farm.


Mon, Oct 10, 2011 : 11:33 p.m.

I blame the baby's mother for intrusting it to the clueless dad with the baby and the dad for putting a two year old on a pony then dropping it. It's not an amusement park. In the future, such fathers should stick to simulated life activities like video games....or better yet, watch others play video games of simulated pony rides on television. ...but for God sake, stay in doors.

Marilyn Wilkie

Mon, Oct 10, 2011 : 10:38 p.m.

So you are blaming the father? Or perhaps the child? This "Farm" is barely a farm. It's only crop is some pumpkins. The products come from other places. The animals are there to make money for the owner. It is an amusement park. But even amusement parks have to make sure what they are doing is safe. If you invite the public on your property, then you had better make sure you are doing it right.

Alice Morrison

Mon, Oct 10, 2011 : 7:55 p.m.

I could not believe my eyes when I saw that the haywagon rides had been reinitiated just two short weeks following the incident that injured a girl horribly and possibly permanently. There has been nothing released by Jenny's Market as to changes that were made to the haywagon ride or path - I cannot believe an employee agreed to drive the wagon let alone children and parents agree to get on that wagon! Amazing!


Mon, Oct 10, 2011 : 10:41 p.m.

That's because they are operating as safely as possible given animals and hay and children. Nothing need be released by the Market, they have been inspected and watched and are going on with business. The place was packed all weekend with people having a great time.


Mon, Oct 10, 2011 : 6:05 p.m.

So a kid slipped off the pony because the father wasn't watching him or her closely enough, right? What is described is a pretty standard pony ride by my experience.


Tue, Oct 11, 2011 : 2:51 p.m.

30 years ago we would have brushed ourselves off and laughed about the whole incident. Now? A ride to the hospital, x-rays and the whole 9 yards? What ever happened to accidents happen? I swear things are so out of hand now a days.


Mon, Oct 10, 2011 : 6:02 p.m.

My 5 1/2 year old daughter was on the pony ride when this little girl fell off. She fell face first in the hay, another horse got spooked and neighed (sorry about the spelling) and I grabbed my daughter from her pony from outside the fence because it seemed like they were all reacting to the chaos of the incident. It was really scary, all I could think about for the rest of the day of what could have happened...

Marilyn Wilkie

Mon, Oct 10, 2011 : 6:43 p.m.

rainbow, why make light of an incident that sent a 22 month child to the hospital in an ambulance? If it was minor the parent could have taken the child to urgent care. It must not have been.

Marilyn Wilkie

Mon, Oct 10, 2011 : 5:33 p.m.

"The child fell while sitting on the pony, estimated to be up to 4 feet tall. An employee said the child's father was on-hand when the child slipped. "The father was walking next to the child, and the child slipped off the pony," Hoey said the employee told him." On hand could mean in the general area. Like outside the pony slave ring.


Tue, Oct 11, 2011 : 7:20 p.m.

The father was in the ring with both his hands on the girl. I was there, saw the whole thing as my daughter was on the pony ride at the time.


Mon, Oct 10, 2011 : 5:22 p.m.

"With today's gas prices, we can't afford NOT to get a pony". As a father of 2, I always made sure I had a hand on my toddler when getting them up on the pony and walking around with them. Hope the child is doing ok.


Tue, Oct 11, 2011 : 7:21 p.m.

He did have his hands on the girl, one on each side. The article is not descriptive as I don't think the owner provided or even knew many of the details. My daughter was on the pony ride at the time this happened, I saw the whole thing.


Mon, Oct 10, 2011 : 5:20 p.m.

I think the name of the place is Jenny's Farm Market, not Jenny's Dexter Market. This is really a stretch to connect this to the haywagon incident.


Mon, Oct 10, 2011 : 6:05 p.m.

I was there and witnessed the incident (my daughter was on the ride at the time). The dad said one of the other ponies did something to make the pony his daughter was on react somehow. It all happened so quickly, it's hard to really know what happened. An unfortunate event especially on the heels of the one in September.

Marilyn Wilkie

Mon, Oct 10, 2011 : 5:26 p.m.

Their website says Jenny's "Dexter Market"...go figure....poor communication with the site developer????


Mon, Oct 10, 2011 : 5:18 p.m.

Why are the resque crews returning, why did they leave and comeback, did they forget their EMV, or what????


Tue, Oct 11, 2011 : 8:12 p.m.

I spet it rong, so wat


Tue, Oct 11, 2011 : 2:48 p.m.

Dexter is trying to become a city, remember? So they need to be upscale if they are to win their case.

Charlie Brown's Ghost

Mon, Oct 10, 2011 : 5:52 p.m.

I think it's kinda like a "risque crew" but in a better part of town.

Marilyn Wilkie

Mon, Oct 10, 2011 : 5:28 p.m.

What's a "resque crew"??


Mon, Oct 10, 2011 : 5 p.m.

@ djm12652 - it was the janitor from Animal House


Mon, Oct 10, 2011 : 4:55 p.m.

"Rescue crews return" are they rescue crews or are they the Dexter Area Fire Department? Rescue crew seems a little bit of hyperbole given there was no rescue needed


Tue, Oct 11, 2011 : 12:13 a.m.

Fire Departments are "Fire and Rescue" because the firefighters are required to be also be paramedics. If the fire service was called to event it's a rescue, not hyperbole.

Dr. I. Emsayin

Mon, Oct 10, 2011 : 4:49 p.m.

We need a photo of the pony ride to see how very safe it appears. A few little ponies tethered to a spoke going around in a circle as slow as can be. It's safer than toting a child behind a bicycle or even safer than a tot riding a trike down a driveway with a slight incline.


Tue, Oct 11, 2011 : 2:47 p.m.

I think a pony ride is far safer then a bicycle ride by any means. I mean a family member of mine, age 3 tried to ride an adult bike and fell. Broke leg. Should we sue Schwinn?


Mon, Oct 10, 2011 : 4:38 p.m.

Who estimated the height of the pony and was that height from the withers?


Mon, Oct 10, 2011 : 4:51 p.m.

Isn't that where you normally measure a pony or horse?


Mon, Oct 10, 2011 : 4:25 p.m.

What the heck is a 22 month old doing on a pony anyway? That seems kinda young......even if a parent is holding on.


Mon, Oct 10, 2011 : 10:42 p.m.

I agree. My daughter is 20 months old and I decided she is far too young to be riding a pony whether I am holding her or not.


Mon, Oct 10, 2011 : 5:27 p.m.

My 17mo old has rode ponyies twice in the last month. I was right along side and had my hand on her the whole time going round' and round' for 2-3 min.


Mon, Oct 10, 2011 : 4:49 p.m.

Read the article! The father was walking beside the pony holding onto the child( apparently not very well). What seems too young to some is perfectly normal to others.


Mon, Oct 10, 2011 : 4:20 p.m.

I always wanted a pony.


Tue, Oct 11, 2011 : 2:45 p.m.

Jennys might sell you one for the right price if his business keeps going the way it is going right now.