Emergency crews were kept busy over the weekend rescuing three people — two horseback riders and a mountain biker — who were injured in Los Padres National Forest.
Two of the people were hurt when their horses fell off a rugged trail on a ride from Rancho Oso to the 19 Oaks Campground in the Paradise Canyon area, according the Santa Barbara County sheriff’s spokesman Drew Sugars.
The first call came in late Saturday afternoon, when a female U.S. Forest Service employee and her horse fell as the riders were returning to Rancho Oso.
Forest service firefighters and sheriff’s Search and Rescue crews located the victim, who was carried to a county helicopter and airlifted to Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara, where she was listed in stable condition. Her name was not released.
A short time later, search and rescue personnel responding to the first incident received a report from a hiker that a mountain biker had fallen off a bridge near the first road crossing of the Santa Ynez River.
They found a man in his late 30s lying in a creek bed, bleeding from cuts to a knee and his head. Apparently the rider was trying to negotiate his bike around the locked gate at one end of the bridge when he lost his balance and tumbled about 12 feet.
After he was provided initial first aid, he refused further treatment and was released. His name was not released.
About this time, a second horse and rider with the Upper Oso group fell down a sheer 30-foot cliff to the rocky creek bed below. The rider, in his late 50s, was flung off the horse and hit his head and back on large rocks.
Rescue personnel found the victim and carried him out on a stretcher to Upper Oso. He was taken by ambulance to Cottage Hospital, where he was reported in serious but stable condition. His name was not released.
Both horses suffered minor injuries in the mishaps, but were rescued and were expected to recover, Sugars said.