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Jellybean the miniature pony leads Fargo police on a low-speed chase


FARGO - A miniature horse named Jellybean caused some big trouble for police officers here Sunday afternoon.

The brown-and-white pony was in town as part of a Girl Scout pet adoption event near 43rd Street and 10th Avenue South when he wiggled out of his halter and went on the lam.

Jellybean is in training to be a therapy pet at the Hawley (Minn.) Hightail Horse Ranch and Rescue. The Hightail Rescue program works to adopt out rescued horses to new homes and provides lessons for new horsemen, Hightail owner Charlotte Tuhy said.

Police Lt. Joel Vettel said officers were in the area of the 900 block of 44th Street South around 2:45 p.m. when they noticed the roughly 3-foot horse running along the street.

"They obviously recognized that was a concern," Vettel said.

About the same time officers spotted Jellybean, Hightail volunteers noticed he was no longer tied to the trailer where he was supposed to be resting.

"Kids started yelling and screaming, and off they went," said Hightail volunteer Kathy Faeth. "The chase was on."

Tuhy said it was unusual for Jellybean to run off from his best friend, another horse who was still at the adoption event. Vettel said officers followed the miniature horse, trying several times to corral the animal.

"Again, not being accustomed to handling larger animals, it wasn't easy," Vettel said.

Officers and Jellybean's handlers were becoming increasingly worried as he ran by high-traffic areas such as the corner of Main Avenue and 45th Street.

About six officers in squad cars and on foot chased after Jellybean, at times reportedly getting the cars up to speeds around 35 mph.

Jellybean matched their speed.

"(Officers) said they were amazed at how fast his little legs could go," Vettel said.

After about half an hour, Jellybean tired and officers caught up with him.

"The Police Department was really good. The pony had actually gone up to one of the policemen and curled up to him," Faeth said.

Though critters ranging from moose to skunks have been spotted within Fargo city limits, Vettel said a small horse is definitely an oddity. And while the officers involved said it wasn't easy, Vettel said they had fun corralling Jellybean.

"It worked out really well, and I think everybody was appreciative that he wasn't hurt," he said.