the Huffington Post story is the most accurate of all the stories out there. Here is an account from April Visel who was there and set up the shoot in the first place.
Ok...so that rumors are not flying all over wildly
Last night at our beach shoot while Jim Lowe was introducing Heir Of Temptation aka William to the ocean when we first arrived.
He was leading him into the water and was about up to his chest when waves and wash came in, William panicked a jerked back, Jim could keep the reins and he went towards the ocean.
He went parallel to shore about 20ft out for a while...many swam in after him and one of the model/riders even tried to lasso him...William just sort of became dissoriented and turned towards sea and kept going....
He went out 2 miles and was swimming for 3 hours.
Every rescue service was called and we had about 3 1/2 before dark.
In the end it was a gentleman on the beach riding who happened to be the financial advisor to the crew chief of the oil rigs offshore. He called them and asked if they could use the big boat to locate the horse.
Once they did, the fire dept and harbor patrol brought him to the boat, put floaties on him and then two paddle boarders escorted him in slowly but surely....while the big boat provided lighting.
When he got to shore, he stumbled a bit, but never fell down.
A mob of people covered him with blankets...one of my students is a vet, so was able to help with re-hydration.
They walked him right up the hill into the trailer and took him to Alamo Pintado.
Today he is doing great and will be released to go home and win Nationals in October!!
We canceled the shoot obviously out of respect and all of the student/photographers and all of the models could not have been any better!
It was a clean calm effort by all that resulted in a great outcome!!
The Carp Fire Dept was really interested in the outcome of William as well as quite proud and relieved!!
William- the horse with tons of heart and very silly thoughts on things!