Sikh groom thrown from horse during wedding procession in Surrey
'Either his shoe or his sword was sticking into her,' says horse owner
A Sikh groom's wedding plans went off track last weekend after the horse he was on apparently became spooked and threw the man off its back outside a Surrey temple Saturday.
In a video posted to Youtube, the horse seems to be uncomfortable the moment the groom climbs on, circling around its handler several times with the man on its back.
The crowd is heard saying, "Control it — everybody be quiet."
When the handler — Zsa Zsa Stiasny of Equutrails — tries to ensure the groom is secure, the horse suddenly bolts away, throwing the groom onto the grass within seconds.
Screams are heard from the crowd as they watch the groom being tossed off the horse.
Wedding guests rushed to help
As a group of family and friends rush to see if the groom is injured, Stiasny is heard on video saying, "Oh my god. Something fell on her [the horse]."
The groom — who lost his turban in the accident — is seen standing after the incident. He was not seriously injured. The CBC has not yet been able to reach him for comment.
Stiasny — who told CBC News her horse Misty has performed at several Indian weddings without incident — said she believes the groom may have caused the horse's reaction.
"When the groom was mounting up I had asked him to remove his sword and shoes before mounting, which I don't believe he did. And the shoe was sticking inside the horse's side," she said.
"Either his shoe or his sword was sticking into her. Unfortunately I'm on the opposite side so I can't see what he's doing, so I can't fix it."
But other horse trainers are criticizing the incident, calling it "completely preventable."
"I was mortified," said Jennifer Girard of Barat Wedding Horses. "It didn't have to happen, it was preventable."
Girard said since the video was posted over the weekend, at least one client has called to cancel a horse for an Indian wedding next month over fears a similar incident could occur.
It's a cultural tradition for some Sikh and Hindu families to have the groom ride a white horse before the wedding ceremony.
Harwant Brar who also rents out horses for Indian weddings, said he was surprised by many things he saw in the video.
"I thought it was peculiar the groom was mounting on the right side — the horses aren't used to mounting on the right side."
Brar said the horse was also in an environment with too many variables and the handler should have found a way to calm it down.
"Generally when a horse is running around in circles, we usually let them ride it out. She should have gotten the groom off and walked the horse a bit."
Stiasny said she is surprised by all the attention the incident garnered, "I'm totally shocked that this even went viral."
"Next time I'm going to make sure those guys [grooms] take their swords and their shoes off."
Do you have more to add to this story? Email Bal.Brach@cbc.ca