(WSVN) - Horse lovers in Plantation Acres are concerned that increased traffic and congestion are making their equestrian community unsafe.
Kevin Ozebek has tonight’s 7 Investigates.
Ashlynn met Rosie when she was 8 years old.
Ashlynn Howard, Rosie’s owner: “I fell in love with Rosie on that first ride, and I was like, ‘I have to have her. She’s perfect. She’s amazing.'”
Whether it was jumping for fun or barrel racing, Ashlynn loved to take Rosie out riding.
But to get to nearby Plantation Equestrian Center, they had to leave the barn where Rosie boarded and crossed busy Sunrise Boulevard.
On May 4, Ashlynn was riding Rosie near the equestrian center south of Sunrise when the unthinkable happened.
Ashlynn Howard: “I made the mistake by giving my friend the reins of my horse, and she mistakenly let go of my horse and my horse took off.”
Rosie ran for the barn and into traffic at the intersection of 118th Street and Sunrise Boulevard.
She was hit by a car and a truck and was killed.
Ashlynn Howard: “I still cry every single night because I just, I really still don’t believe that she’s really gone.”
It’s not the first time horses have run into traffic here.
This shocking dashcam video shows two horses bolting across Sunrise Boulevard after throwing their owners.
The owner of one of those horses spoke to us off-camera.
Horse owner: “It was terrifying, my horse came so close to getting killed, you can see in the video that he’s the one in front. I just realize I can’t ever ride in Plantation Acres again. Way too dangerous.”
Jenn Fain is the president of the Plantation Homeowner’s Association
Jenn Fain: “We all need to figure out a way to make this community stay a horse community.”
She says the city has put up horse and rider crossing signs and has special crossing areas, but it’s not enough.
Jenn Fain: “The drivers here, a lot of them are very cautious when they see a horse but a lot of them are not and they don’t understand how spooked a horse can get and they just fly right by.”
Plantation Mayor Nick Sortal says the city is working on making the area safer.
It is installing six-speed cushions along Northwest 118th Avenue and enhancing pavement markings and signs.
The mayor also says the city is looking at ways to keep the equestrian area more secure.
Sunrise Boulevard is a county road.
Broward’s traffic engineering division is Installing two push-button detectors for equestrians on the traffic signal poles at Sunrise Boulevard and Northwest 118th Avenue, and it’s putting in six more horse warning signs at the intersection as well.
But homeowners want more.
Jenn Fain: “This issue is life or death, so we need to do something.”
Some also want to see the speed limit reduced from 45 to around 30 mph on this stretch of Sunrise near the Equestrian Center.
Kevin Ozebek, 7News.
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