WAYNESVILLE – To answer all your equestrians, yes, there was a horse present in the student section at the Tuscola-Pisgah baseball game April 17.
Tuscola sophomore Coleman Cothern rode in before the game on Coyote, his 14-year-old Tennessee Walker horse, adding another level to an already exciting ‘neigh’borly rivalry.
He called it a spur of the moment decision.
“I figured the best time to do it would be during the Tuscola-Pisgah game,” said Cothern, wearing his cowboy hat, boots with spurs and sporting a large Tuscola flag. “I don’t like those guys across the river. I wanted them to be jealous.”
Cothern, who will play varsity football next year as a junior running back, made the two-mile trek from his home to the baseball field through back roads, avoiding riding on Asheville Highway that brings you to Junaluska Elementary School – the home site of Tuscola High School baseball and softball teams.
He parked his horse behind the right field wall in the student section. Unsurprisingly, Cothern drew the attention of the fans in attendance.
“I reckon everyone was kind of in awe about my horse,” Cothern said. “It’s not something you see every day, but it’s something I see every day.”
Cothern grew up around horses. His father, Todd Cothren, is a farm boss and horse handler at Cothern Farm Horse Camp and Outfitters.
“I’m a cowboy,” Cothern said. “I want to ride bulls or horses in the rodeo, but my dad won’t let me because of football. He’s afraid I’ll get hurt.”
Unfortunately, Cothern and his horse weren’t allowed a long stay at the ballpark. They were asked to leave during the second inning.
“I figured they’d only make me leave if he pooped a lot,” he said. “Hopefully I can bring him back.”
Tuscola defeated Pisgah 6-1. The two teams will meet again April 18.