Weather Forecast


Dickinson man still hospitalized after wild-horse auction

Press Photo by Lisa Call Bashful, a 2-year-old stud, stands in a corral after attempting to jump an arena fence during an auction of TRNP wild horses at Stockmen's Livestock Exchange in Dickinson on Friday afternoon.

A Dickinson man remains hospitalized following injuries sustained when a wild horse attempted to jump and became caught in a 6-foot sales-ring fence during an auction in Dickinson on Friday afternoon.

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, near Medora, rounded up and auctioned off 77 horses in an effort to control horse numbers.

William Friedt, who is in his 70s, was sitting in the first row of the arena during the wild-horse sale at Stockmen's Livestock Exchange when Bashful, a 2-year-old stud, unexpectedly launched himself over the fence, entangling his right rear leg.

"I got right in the mix of everything," Friedt said. "I could see the hoofs flying by my face ... I just looked down."

Friedt said Bashful's front legs came down, striking his head and causing a laceration.

After the horse's initial impact, Friedt's wife pulled him off his chair and out of the horse's way as much as she could.

Friedt was taken by ambulance from Stockmen's to St. Joseph's Hospital & Health Center in Dickinson.

Friedt said his ribs are broken in two places and he suffered some cuts and extensive bruising, adding if his head looked like his legs do, he "would not be here anymore."

Doctors have advised Friedt he will tentatively be released from the hospital on Monday.

"If that horse would have got loose, all those people sitting on the floor, little kids, it could have been real bad ... a disaster," Friedt said.

Bashful's new owner, Michael Sparling of Bismarck, said the horse had a peaceful demeanor Saturday during his transport home and walked out of the trailer even more calmly.

Sparling said Bashful's leg that was caught in the wire is quite sore from the ordeal and the trip home.

To ease the horse's transition, Sparling put a gelding in the pen with Bashful while he ate.

"He was OK to eat with me standing there as long as he was with a buddy," Sparling said.

Dale Weflen of Tioga purchased a gray yearling stallion at the auction, but wasn't able to take it home.

Weflen said a friend witnessed the horse bump its head between the eyes on a fence while in the stockyard.

After loading the horse into a trailer and closing the door, the horse fell down within one to two minutes, Weflen said.

"At first I thought maybe he was in shock, but he never quivered, so he just died from that head injury," Weflen said. "It's no fault of the sale ring at all."

Weflen said he is unsure if Dr. John Rowe, veterinarian on hand during the auction, examined the horse after it died.

Calls to Rowe's home and cell phone went unreturned.