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Posted on Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 12:37 p.m.

Michigan workplace safety officials investigating hayride accident at Jenny's Dexter Market

By Cindy Heflin

The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration is now investigating an accident that injured a worker on a hayride at Jenny’s Dexter Market on Saturday.

Elaine Clapp, safety and health manager for the General Industry Safety and Health Division, said a MIOSHA investigator went to the Dexter area business today.


Burton Hoey leads a pair of Percheron draft horses as he prepares to hitch them to a pumpkin wagon in this file photo. A worker was injured in a hayride accident at the business Saturday.

File photo

Jenny’s owner, Burton Hoey, was not available for comment today, said Jessica Reeve, who said she is the farm stand manager for the business.

Reeve said a MIOSHA investigator who came to the business today said he would return on Tuesday because Hoey was not there today.

Clapp said the investigation will include interviews with employees and the owner to determine if there have been violations of MIOSHA standards.

The penalty for such a violation is generally a citation that could include a fine, Clapp said. Such investigations normally take several weeks, she said.

Clapp cold not provide specific information about what standards the investigator would be checking to see were followed.

“At any workplace it will depend on the specifics,” she said. MIOSHA has no standards specifically for hayrides, she said.

Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Derrick Jackson said today the department is also investigating the accident, but he had no further information.

Hoey said Sunday that hayrides at the business have been discontinued indefinitely following the accident.

The farm market, located at the intersection of Dexter-Pinckney and Island Lake roads, is a popular local attraction.

Hoey said the worker, a 23-year-old woman, was leading the hayride and holding tight to the reins when one of the horses tripped and lunged forward, pulling her off the wagon.

Firefighters reportedly arrived shortly before 2 p.m., and found the injured woman lying in a field. Dexter Fire Lt. Michael Grissom said Sunday that the woman "didn't have the feeling she should have had in her lower extremities" on Saturday.

She was conscious and alert and was flown by a Survival Flight helicopter to the University of Michigan Hospital, where she was undergoing treatment.

An update on her condition was not available today. Her name has not been released.



Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 5:14 p.m.

I see the A2dotcom censors are out in full force for this one! For the record, mine was the last post deleted, and it said, to the effect, : "I guess this looks like the owner of Jenny's Farm Market outta get out of the hayride business". Oh, the horror! Watch out for those non-existent invisible internet libel lawyers, scaredy cats!

Charlie Brown's Ghost

Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 1:11 p.m.

Tip for investigators: check the payroll records. If there are any, that is. I guess you typically don't keep records when you pay people under the table.


Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 4:34 a.m.

I am not sure I can believe this same thing happened 7 years ago...I never heard anything about it, even though it may not have been on the news I am sure word of mouth in these small towns would have traveled.....I have been here for almost 20 years and have never heard a bad word....Not that I don't believe you... but as the younger crowd says...I'm just sayin..


Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 8:23 p.m.

Just sayin......maybe you shouldn't be just many other things in the world didn't happen or don't exist because you di not hear about them. An accident did happen 7 years ago...with Mr Hoey driving the wagon.Two young women and a little boy on the wagon which flipped. Lawsuit resulted to cover medical costs since the farm carried no insurance records do exist .....stay tuned this all may not be over yet.....seems like "r Hoey's Wild ride "may finally be over

Marilyn Wilkie

Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 2:34 p.m.

Why do you think there are so many posts about this...word of mouth does travel fast around Dexter. Sometimes you just mention a name....I have been here 20 years and immediately heard "word of mouth" and experienced things that were not good.


Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 3:36 a.m.

to belboz -- So are you stating horses will be horses and the owner has essentially no responsibility to provide as safe an environment as possible for his passengers? If the riders fall off and get injured that is just too bad and no investigation is needed?? Let us hope you do not fall off a wagon and get injured and, dare we state, maybe need the services of an attorney to protect your rights.

Sarah Parviz

Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 2:21 p.m.

Yep, that is pretty much it - if you get on a horse and you don't know what you are doing, its on YOU. One of the few sensible laws in this state. Do you have any idea how many idiots think riding a horse is just sitting there with your legs hanging down?


Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 3:16 a.m.

With all the people that were seemingly there or physically on the hayride when the crash occurred, the cart would have to be forty feet long and and people would be lined up out the door buying things and Jennys would be raking in the money hand over fist. Just sayin..


Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 1:11 p.m.

Actually, I drove by there when the ambulances were in the field. There were at least a hundred cars parked in the lot, so I'm estimating that would be about three hundred people present at the time, at the least. Just clarifyin'...


Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 3:08 a.m.

I talked with Hoey soon after the event and was quite disgusted with his attitude. He brushed the injury off as being "light" and that it was all the employee's fault "because I don't think she had much experience with animals in the first place." Now that is a gross lie because I happened to have talked to the young woman the previous week and have a personal account of how she started working with horses at a young age, both riding and training. Also, the broken seat on the wagon would seem to indicate that it was an equipment malfunction that may have initiated the incident, not an accident on the part of the young woman.


Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 3:04 a.m.

I've held my tongue so far about this story, because as a horse owner I'm continually reminded that as sentient beings and prey animals, horses are unpredictable and should be treated as such, yet on the other hand they are a heck of a lot of fun. Somewhere there should be a happy medium but in these paranoid MIOSHA times, I'm afraid we need to err on the side of caution. In most boarding and public barns there are signs up that under Michigan law horses are by their nature dangerous, and proceed at your own risk or something to that effect. It sounds from some of the comments that there was some recklessness involved; on the other hand, the public needs to be informed of the risks involved regardless of precautions taken. I was especially disturbed by some comments that the horses have been known to be mistreated because it is somewhat well known that Percheron horses are treated harshly by some owners, so this information is unfortunately quite believable. I wish the young woman who was driving the team godspeed and hope she makes a full recovery. Very sad all around.


Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 2:40 a.m.

What, no poll?

Nichole B

Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 1:59 a.m.

We went on this hayride last year with our 3 year old daughter. We thought it was going to be a slow nice little experience. We were horrified by the experience and would have got off if we could have during the "ride". My husband and I both thought that it just didn't seem safe. I hope the worker is going to be ok and they shut this down from happening again to someone else. My daughter was so scared the entire time and I have to admit I was VERY concerned with the safety of this ride. I will NEVER go to Jenny's Market again after reading this and the posts from other people that experienced situations like this. SHAME ON YOU JENNY'S MARKET!!!!!!!!! I will be posting this on my Facebook in hopes that everyone gets the message of the negligence that you have shown.


Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 1:54 a.m.

I agree that accidents can happen, especially when animals are involved. BUT I find it ironic that I have a story similar to Heather's and many other people who have commented on here. I took my 1.5 year old there to go on the hayride. No other patrons were in line for the hayride so we were the only ones on the wagon. I have never feared so much for the safety of my child as I did that day. I wanted to yell just stop the wagon, I want off. We were going so fast and at times were out of control as the wagon kept tipping on it's side. At one point, the driver (Mr. Hoey) did not have control of the horses. I watched him as he screamed WOAH repeatedly and stood up to pull on the reins but to no evail. He had no control of those horses. The horses continued on and we ended up in the road in the middle of 5 o'clock traffic. Cars had to slam on their brakes and were wailing on their horns as he tried to maneuver the horses back onto farm property. I couldn't have been happier when that hayride was over. As far as the treatment of the animals, I noticed the ponies that were hooked to the wooden carousal. We couldn't go on the pony ride (even though it was open) because the mud was too thick to actually get onto the pony. Those ponies just sat there lifting their feet up to get them out of the mud. They look extremely aggitated. After I left there I just remember thinking that I would never return to this place but now that I've read other people's experiences and how much they match to my experience, I truly feel that these concerns, the treatment of the animals and the safety of the hayride need to be seriously looked into.


Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 12:24 a.m.

Joe Kidd Lets petition to have the word accident removed from the English language and or dictionary! Because according to YOU they do not exist. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia An accident or mishap is a specific, unpredictable, unusual and unintended external action which occurs in a particular time and place, with no apparent and deliberate cause but with marked effects. It implies a generally negative outcome which may have been avoided or prevented had circumstances leading up to the accident been recognized, and acted upon, prior to its occurrence.


Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 12:18 a.m.

ike so many others who have posted here, we, too, had an experience with the owner--He was clearly trying to flip the wagon with myself and my son in it. I asked him if he'd ever flipped the wagon and he said, "Yeah. Last week." I asked him if anyone had been hurt, and he said, "Their lawyer says they were." I asked to get out of the wagon, and he laughed at my son (5 years old) and myself as we trekked across the field to get back to our car. Someone here has said that, if they are so bad, why has this been put up with for so long. Well, this situation has been talked about throughout the community for YEARS. People with school age children have heard plenty of stories. The police have been notified by at least two other people I know personally. I don't want to get taken off the board for slander, and I can't be sure of anything but my own bad experience, so let me just say things that have been observed and said about this establishment and the owner are pretty scary. I guess it takes a major accident to get the Dexter police involved. As fond as we all may be of hayrides and little faux-farm markets with faux-homemade food, the community will be much safer when this place is closed down.


Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 1:14 p.m.

"He was clearly trying to flip the wagon with myself and my son in it." You must be a professor of ESP. I doubt he was "trying to flip the wagon". Sound like he may have been reckless and callous, but it would be presumptuous and a stretch to say "He was clearly trying to flip the wagon"

Mr. Ed

Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 2:48 a.m.

How is this a police matter? Did the owner break any laws? Stop blaming the police for a business that appears to have safety issues. Maybe the Township should have been notified. The Township can shut a business down not the police.


Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 12:43 a.m.

I think it takes him breaking the law for the police to react. Otherwise, taking a horse ride of any kind is covered by law and accidents are not criminal unless negligence is involved. If people wish to go and take the risk, they have that choice. Bottom line, horses can be dangerous and deadly. Happens all the time. People should think realistically before making safety decisions regarding their children and not blame someone else for their careless and thoughtless decisions. I have been around horses my whole life, my kids never - never ever - go on hay rides at other peoples farms.


Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 9:25 p.m.

First and foremost I hope the employee will be allright in the long run, what a terrible thing to have happen. Second, I am very much a person of the opinion "idiot proof the world and you get a world full of Idiots...BUT!! Having personal experience with Jenny's Farm Market, I believe many people sign up for a horse drawn hayride....not "Mr Hoey's Wild Ride" Thousands of people trot around Mackinaw Island every year, I wonder how the safety record up there compares Laurel.......2 accidents in 7 years where oh where do you get your information, if you read the posts in regards to this topic you will find atleast 4 incidents, 4 and this is just getting is easy to form opinions from limited information......that is why information needs to be exchanged PRIOR to conclusions being drawn As just my opinion points out Michigan law falls squarely on the side of Mr Hoey, he is not responsible for much short of gross negligence. At the very least people should be informed as to what type of ride to expect, equipment should be in good condition and the horses properly cared for. To me, the item which most raised my ire was the statement by Mr Hoey that their have been no previous incidents This is OBVIOUSLY not true...........perhaps you will see him around the farm dressed as Pinochio for halloween


Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 11:39 p.m.

Are you counting the testimony of each individual separately or do you combine the testimony of multiple parties who experienced the same incident? Just curious because I did do some research, though this issue is not that important to me to consume my day with research about it. I'd love to cross reference with you. Post some sources if you have any. I am not an expert on Jenny's so there's room for err and I am open to additional information you may or may not have. But again as I have said before, I am entitled to my opinions just as you are...


Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 9:16 p.m.

Seriously? And people wonder why we have too many lawyers in the U.S. If you are involved with a ride that uses animals, frankly, it is pretty understood that they have a mind of their own at times. Anyone ever watch a horse race? Gone to the zoo? Good thing our after the fact governmental agency, OSHA, is getting involved. What are they going to do, issue a report that says... "The owners need to talk to the horses and make sure this does not happen again?" Frankly, if I were the owners, I'd wonder why Ann Arbor dot com lets unsubstantiated, slanderous comments about their business. Really Heather? Irresponsible? That was 7 years ago. What do you personally know about the operation, other than you fell off? What does the market have to do with a police force not providing you the service you expected?


Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 12:33 a.m.

You cannot protected people from everything, least of all their unwillingness to take personal responsibility for their behavior and choices. This is America after all, we like to make other responsible for our failings and our misfortunes.

Marilyn Wilkie

Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 9:34 p.m.

"What are they going to do, issue a report that says... "The owners need to talk to the horses and make sure this does not happen again?" I would expect that they will assess the safety of the operation, much as an amusement ride would be scrutinized. Also the amount of training that the employee received, any equipment that was used to keep people, especially children, from falling off the trailer and under the wheels, the route the wagons take with the patrons on the wagon (hazards along the way, etc.), whether there were any safeguards to prevent bystanders from getting harmed, and whether the riders were apprised of any hazards to riding. You know, stuff like that.

Jeremy Miller

Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 8:43 p.m.

This is why God gave us tractors.


Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 8:42 p.m.

Sorry you lost the farm and everybody will loose hayrides "Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration is now investigating"


Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 8:36 p.m.

I don't recall ever having been on a hayride but it is clear that it is not a risk-free activity (what is?). Nonetheless, those taking hayrides should assume the risks of such hayrides as long as they are apprised of such risks by the proprietor. While those familiar with hayrides, or with horses or other large animals in general, might find such risks to be obvious, in my opinion it is not reasonable to assume that anyone and everyone should know what the risks are. I hope the proprietor (I presume Mr. Hoey) apprises the hayriders of such risks in writing and those on the rides sign waivers indemnifying the business of any harms should an accident occur. Otherwise, I presume he or his business might be at an uncovered risk for compensation or a lawsuit should any harm come to the hayriders. Harm to an employee, on the other hand, which appears to have happened in this case, typically would be covered under workers compensation unless gross negligence occurred.


Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 1:02 a.m.

I don't think, in this case, that being a citizen has anything to do with informing oneself about risks, but it does have to do with being a consumer of a service offered. In that regard, of course one has the responsibility to inform oneself. And one way I would inform myself would be to ask the proprietor if there are any risks involved (and, of course, there would be) and what would they be and how likely they would be. As a proprietor, I would want my patrons to be fully informed, for their protection as well as for mine. Even if a proprietor should be sued without merit, such lawsuits are a huge hassle and consume at least time. Risks that might be obvious to you or to others may not be obvious to everyone, for a variety of reasons. To assume everyone has, or should have, a common knowledge of such risks is unnecessarily presumptuous. Informed consent to partake in any activity is just prudent and common sense. Without explicitly informing those engaging in such behavior of the risks, you have no way of knowing if, in fact, they know the risks to which they may be subjecting themselves (and, perhaps, their minor charges).


Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 12:29 a.m.

Dont you have any personal responsibility to inform yourself as a citizen. And to the Modertors, I mean YOU as in YOU IN GENERAL.


Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 8:23 p.m.

To JustMyOpinion: I am not a professional victim and I am not bashing the business or anyone specifically. My family and I experienced a tragic, life threatening incident in which a young woman was injured so severely she may never walk again. I was uneducated about the reputation of the hayrides as this was my first visit to Jenny's. I have read Marilyn's comments and I don't see "nerve", I see concern. Perhaps you would feel differently if it was your family member who was med-evacuated out of this scene. Just sayin.. Delete We're sorry. We were unable to delete the comment at this time.


Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 7:55 p.m.

Give the number of hayrides by every orchard every year, things like this are bound to happen. Its just the risk you take. I can only find them to blame if their hayride happens to be less safe than other orchards. I have noticed that most other orchards use tractors instead of horses though, and after reading this now it makes a lot of sense.


Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 8:31 p.m.

Yes, I agree. I love horses and have spent much time around them, however, I will probably not venture on a horse driven hayride again. I have learned the hard way there are just too many risks.


Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 7:18 p.m.

In a previous article the Owner was quoted as saying "the farm stand would cover the girls medical costs". Why wouldn't the girl be covered by the Farm Stands Workmens Comp Insurance. Of course that is assuming the Farm Stand is a legitimate business, with proper and manditory insurance coverage.

Marilyn Wilkie

Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 7:40 p.m.

Yes, it is assuming that.


Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 7:06 p.m.

Why was my post removed? What guidline did I violate? I would honestly like to know! Why even bother having comments. I didn't swear, insult, or otherwise be offensive... I don't get it.


Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 7:59 p.m.

OK - I withdraw some of my distaste for the deletion standards here - nice to see a review and restoration! Very big of you Tony, and I mean that sincerely.

Tony Dearing

Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 7:41 p.m.

@arbormike, I reviewed your comment and restored it. I agree that it did not violate our conversation guidelines. Now that your comment has been restored, I am removing your additional comment protesting its earlier removal because the person you name in that comment did not remove it.


Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 7:38 p.m.

The moderating is unbelievable on this site. They obviously don't believe in freedom of speech and unbiased editing.


Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 7:24 p.m.

Go question it on the Moderation page - you should get answers there <a href=""></a>

Pamm in Dexter

Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 7:21 p.m.

Mike-I was dumbfounded when your post had been removed. I had a chance to read it before that. Nothing wrong with it that I could see. A bit overzealous in the deletions, imo.


Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 6:48 p.m.

Went on a hayride last year, while it was fun, there were several glaring safety concerns. The hayride driver was openly talking about how they almost get hit by cars every hayride b/c of the part where they turn around in the road. Also, the downhill portion was a blast, but there was absolutely no control over anything for a good 30 seconds. But isn't that what makes hayrides fun? I guess not if someone gets hurt.

Marilyn Wilkie

Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 6:20 p.m.

I am so glad that someone will be investigating this situation. Very glad.


Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 8:36 p.m.

To Just my opinion....yes equine activities carry with them an inherent danger, this probably covers what happened in THIS case results of further investigation pending.......HOWEVER, if you read thru the post on this and other blogs, the consistant tone seems to be the manner in which Mr Hoey chooses to operate his hayride and drive his horses........when several reports repeat that he REFUSED to slow down at the request of his patrons. questions should be raised. Perhaps his hayride should be considered a thrill ride. If he chooses to drive the horses in that manner, potential patrons should be warned of his intent. Many on here point the finger to responsibility and risk. I agreee,, but there is a reasonableness test which Mr Hoey is not meeting. I doubt parents were warned of his intended speed when stepping on with toddlers and infants.


Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 1:02 a.m.

@cerviver: I also have read her comments and I have a lot of trouble with the absolute condemnation of the farm here and what I see as the complete abdication of responsibility for ones choices. Even our laws recognize that ANY activity involving horses is dangerous and limits liability specifically for these instances due to the inherently dangerous nature of the activity. People come out from the city to &quot;play&quot; in the country as if its some amusement park. Really, what are they thinking? Why do they get a free pass from needing to think? I am all for people have good experiences with farm animals, but part of that has to be respecting the fact they are living beings who can become very dangerous suddenly. Little toddlers around small goats or sheep - not smart. Yet people do this all the time. Whose responsibility is it if not the parents? Who has control here? Certainly not the goat. I am sorry for your experience, but perhaps you will think harder the next time you encounter a situation with live animals and children - its behooves everyone to think in all situations where safety is a concern. Even walking in parks can be dangerous, we share the woods with carnivorous animals. Why would you let your child run ahead alone and risk being eaten? Yet people do it all the time. Maybe its the parks fault then? At some point, you have to think for yourself and not be lulled into thinking risks are not present anymore. I have no idea what your comment referred to as far as my comment being addressed to you - I saw no original comment from you so I do not understand your taking the professional victim comment personally. Point of fact, I have had serious horse accidents, I knowingly took the risks as an adult. My parents agreed for me to take the risks as a child. My children take the risks based on our judgment of the risks &amp; facilities. None of us ever have been on a farm hayride at a public facility - we didn't think it was a reasonable


Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 12:46 a.m.

Sorry, apparently the last line was too much, so here it is without that line: Me too! I hope everyone pays attention to the law and the outcome! People need to stop becoming professional victims when life turns sour for them! It's sickening. Life is a risk every day we live it. Burt may not be the most likable guy around, but unless there was faulty equipment, then any and every experienced horse person knows the risks. If the driver was underage or unskilled, there could be an issue, but otherwise, this was farm work and guess what people, farm work is dangerous. We know it, we choose to do it. We see value in it. You ought to be grateful since you would starve otherwise. If you cant understand that, stay in your cities and buy some bubble wrap. It infuriates me that people like you Marilyn are so quick to jump for someone to be a &quot;victim&quot; and to eviscerate someone whose living is risky by nature.

Marilyn Wilkie

Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 8:21 p.m.

Well, Just My Opinion. I believe you just made a personal attack on me which violates the guidelines doesn't it? The person riding on the wagon already posted that the seat was broken. Keep up! By the way, he is known by &quot;Burton&quot;, not Burt.


Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 8:21 p.m.

To JustMyOpinion: I am not a professional victim and I am not bashing the business or anyone specifically. My family and I experienced a tragic, life threatening incident in which a young woman was injured so severely she may never walk again. I was uneducated about the reputation of the hayrides as this was my first visit to Jenny's. I have read Marilyn's comments and I don't see &quot;nerve&quot;, I see concern. Perhaps you would feel differently if it was your family member who was med-evacuated out of this scene. Just sayin..


Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 5:42 p.m.

My sister, 2 year old nephew, and I were involved in the exact same accident, 7 years ago at this same market. The driver allowed the horses to go too fast down a hill which then had a turn and we 3 and the driver went flying. The wagon tipped, we flew several feet, hit the dirt with our faces - how we were not hurt more, I have no idea. The horses came charging back at us. The driver got them and was like ' i don't know what happened 'and quickly disappeared. The driver, by the way, was the owner of the market, Mr. Hoey. We all went to the emergency room. My sister damaged her shoulder, I bruised my kidneys and THANK GOODNESS my little nephew was ok, just emotionally upset everytime he saw a horse after that. The police refused to investigate because it was 'private property'. They would not even come to the property when we called and when we showed up to the station to confront them, still, no interest in helping us. Had they done the investigation then, maybe these hayrides would have been 'suspended indefinitely' then. In my opinion, had the police investigated at that time, maybe they would have no longer allowed horse drawn hayrides...obviously there is an issue...of an unreliable animal in the hands of irresponsible people.


Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 1:37 a.m.

Laurel - &quot;Slander&quot; - I don't think that word means what you think it means.


Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 11:55 p.m.

We also had a hayride that was far too fast for the terrain and load. I am glad they are investigating and hope they check the conditions for the horses and cows at the same time. I know there have been worries about the pasture conditions for the animals.


Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 7:20 p.m.

&quot;An animal is an animal is an animal. Ride at your own risk and don't be surprised if something happens. Point blank.&quot; This is accurate in my opinion. Horse drawn wagons don't have seatbelts and airbags. Ride at your own risk. Maybe a safer alternative to go on a hay ride with a tractor pulling the wagon. I see hayrides like that all the time and I'm not seeing any articles here on about a tractor out of control and hurting people. Still not completely safe but more controllable than horses.

Sarah Parviz

Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 7:20 p.m.

Animals are unpredictable and carts take skill to drive, this WAS an accident. Not everyone should be around large animals, especially livestock. I have been on a hayride at Jennys and it was crazy fun - but it was a little wild, but then I know what horses are like and knew the risks when I got on the wagon. Not everything in this world has to be sanitized. It is very unfortunate people were hurt, but when someone agrees to go on a ride, in an open field with 4,000 pounds of horses in charge, one should be prepared for anything to happen.


Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 6:50 p.m.

Police investigate crimes and accidents on public spaces. You wanted a lawyer. I'm not so sure you could even sue unless you could prove negligence or faulty equipment. Michigan's Equine Activity Statue, like those of other states, says doing anything with horses is risky by nature. People have a responsibility to know these things, although common sense ought to tell you when you are dealing with live animals, they have their own minds.... 691.1663. Equine activity sponsors and professionals; limitations on liability Sec. 3. Except as otherwise provided in section 5, an equine activity sponsor, an equine professional, or another person is not liable for an injury to or the death of a participant or property damage resulting from an inherent risk of an equine activity. Except as otherwise provided in section 5, a participant or participant's representative shall not make a claim for, or recover, civil damages from an equine activity sponsor, an equine professional, or another person for injury to or the death of the participant or property damage resulting from an inherent risk of an equine activity&quot;


Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 6:42 p.m.

An animal is an animal is an animal. Ride at your own risk and don't be surprised if something happens. Point blank. I don't mean to be hurtful in saying so, but I am being realistic. I wouldn't be surprised if an accident happened on a carnival ride, neither am I surprised something happened on an animal ride. This family should be glad they made it without permanent injuries, learn from this life lesson and move on. Spreading hateful messages and slander after nearly a decade is irresponsible and immoral. I was not being nasty, have you read all the responses on other articles discussing this as well?? Nothing I said cut into their character, nor did I try to insult them. If you got insults out of that, then you're looking for a problem that isn't there. There are some very nasty comments, mine was not such. Surprise, surprise, now you're attacking me and I never said anything hurtful. I didn't say they deserved an accident to happen, but I did say that it is no surprise that something could happen. The article says the horse tripped and hurt the employee who reportedly had an extensive background in handling horses. Seems like since the accident that happened 7 years ago took place, they took precautions to be more responsible. And who says it was the exact same horse... That's implying a lot to make this establishment look bad. I was born and raised in Ann Arbor, it's not Dexter, but I'm not that far away on Wagner. This is the most negativity I've ever heard revolving around them. Seems like if they were soooo bad, word would have gotten around in a small human/animal rights focused community. FYI: Not all car accidents are collisions.


Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 6:31 p.m.

And of course, to get OSHA to act, you have to call them and complain. To get legal relief, you have to sue someone. I don't understand why you didn't contact a lawyer at the time given that the police weren't helping you (and I presume that they would have told you why they wouldn't help, if you asked them to explain. You should have sued for that accident, it sounds like it was negligent. Have you checked into the statute of limitations? Possible that you could still press charges in court.

Joe Kidd

Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 6:27 p.m.

Actually police like to call them collisions, and there is no such thing as an accident. When a collision occurs it is because of some error. In Heather's case it sounds like &quot;speed too fast.&quot; Minus the error the collision does not happen. The fact that the police did not respond is not at all odd. Sort of. Unless there is criminal activity, you get no police. I would be good customer relations to go look some. Traffic violations are very limited on private property, but as here, in a workplace it comes under OSHA, which should have happened seven years ago. There are regulations, as the republicans are pointing out, but sometimes enforcement is done by agencies other than the police.


Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 6:24 p.m.

Umm Laurel do you know the history of this business? Its overall history of accidents and the way the treat their animals is the reason a lot of us neighbors to this business, don't utilize it at all period.

Marilyn Wilkie

Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 6:23 p.m.

Laurel, that is a very nasty reply to this poor person who was traumatized at the same place as the recent victim. Are you implying that accidents don't need to be taken seriously and just ignored? What you call slander are just people who are telling what they know.


Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 6:06 p.m.

Two accidents in a span of 7 years is pretty darn good and doesn't mean that they are 'irresponsible people'. They're called ACCIDENTS for a reason people. They happen, however unfortunate as they are.. What if people who had accidents in their cars were slandered as much as these people are being? I wish they would, maybe we'd have less people on the road operating killing machines. Seems like they've handled themselves pretty professionally throughout this whole ordeal. Hopefully they'll resolve this soon, as peacefully as possible. Accidents happen everywhere. If these people handle things so irresponsibly, perhaps the parents of those involved should be investigated for making negligent choices.