Youth face charges after joy ride on horseback

An unexpected double-double appeared outside the Tim Horton's at Lasalle Boulevard and Notre Dame Avenue in New Sudbury Tuesday morning.
Sudbury police allege two girls, aged 12 and 14, broke into a barn in Valley East overnight Tuesday, saddled two horses, and rode the animals up Highway 69 north in the dark. (Supplied)

An unexpected double-double appeared outside the Tim Horton's at Lasalle Boulevard and Notre Dame Avenue in New Sudbury Tuesday morning.

Two stolen white palomino horses were found standing in the coffee shop's parking lot at about 6 a.m. — and beside them were two girls, aged 12 and 14.

Sudbury police spokesperson Megan O’Malley said it appears the pair took the horses from Wagon Wheel Ranch in Valley East on Monday night.

"It looks as though they broke into a building there, they took two saddles, and then they took the horses and they rode those horses along Highway 69 north," she said.

The pair is facing charges of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal and mischief endangering life.  

"They’re kind of lucky it's not 100 years ago, 'cause 100 years ago, you'd hang a horse thief," said Wagon Wheel Ranch owner Andre Bertrand as a joke.

The other thing they remembered to take happened to be a silver lining for Bertrand.

The girls — one of whom was a former ranch volunteer — both took helmets to wear for their joyride on horseback.

"I guess when we drill it into them, 'you don’t go riding without a helmet', it actually sunk in," he said. 

Police said the girls rode the animals up the highway in the dark and reportedly have little or no experience riding.

Officers received a call Tuesday morning from someone who spotted the horses near the New Sudbury intersection.

The animals were very tired when found but appeared uninjured, police said.

Both youths were to be held in custody for a bail hearing.