Bystanders at the scene confirmed that as the mayor was positioning himself in the saddle, the small palomino bolted and took off in a full gallop. Startled by the horse's unexpected actions the mayor lost control of the reins and began to slide out of the saddle. To stop his sliding, the mayor attempted to grab the horse’s mane but no matter how hard he tried, the mayor could not maintain a firm grip.
Realizing it was just a matter of time before he would fall off the horse and perhaps land under the horses legs, the mayor decided to leap from the horse and throw himself to safety. Unfortunately, his foot was now entangled in one of the stirrups making it impossible to jump.