It began as the most brotherly of gestures, a 600-mile horse ride to attend his brother’s wedding in Utah.
Aboard his trusty horse, Dillon, and accompanied by his pug named Bufford, 45-year-old Patrick Neal Schumacher began his trek from Larkspur, Colorado.
But it all turned sour for him in Boulder – before he reached the state border -when Schumacher was arrested for alleged animal cruelty, riding a horse on the road while affected by alcohol, a firearms infraction, and reckless endangerment.
Police in Boulder received a call about 2.15pm on Monday from a member of the public reporting that a man had repeatedly hit his horse in the area of Broadway and Baseline Road.
Witnesses said the man hit the horse hard enough for the animal to rear.
University of Colorado police officers later saw the man near Broadway and College Avenue riding Dillon and carrying Bufford.
Officers saw that Schumacher was slumped to his right in the saddle as he crossed streets and forced pedestrians off the sidewalk.
Officers asked Schumacher to dismount. They noticed he was slurring his words and appeared drunk.
Schumacher failed roadside intoxication tests.
A small black-powder pistol and beer cans were found in his saddle bag.
When asked about the report of him striking his horse, Schumacher said he was just trying to hit a fly on Dillon’s head.
Schumacher was then arrested for animal cruelty, prohibited use of weapons, riding a horse while affected by alcohol – a traffic violation – and reckless endangerment.
Schumacher told officers that he was traveling on Dillon from Larkspur, Colorado, to Bryce, Utah, – a 600-mile journey – in an effort to attend his brother’s wedding.
Schumacher said he previously lost his driver’s license, so decided to ride to Utah instead.
The Boulder Police Department Animal Control Unit, Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks, and the Humane Society of Boulder Valley helped organize the safekeeping of Dillon and Bufford.