Which one of us hasn’t had one too many beers and tried to ride a police horse?
The details are still somewhat foggy, but the incident took place back way back in 2000 in Buffalo, New York. Kenny and Tim at that time were two of the biggest country stars on Earth, and had just finished performing at the George Strait Country Music Festival at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
Both men were hanging out after the show and meeting fans when Kenny met a young woman who said her father was a police officer. Somehow that conversation turned into the woman giving Kenny permission to get on her father’s patrol horse. Before anyone knew it, Kenny was atop the horse, and I can only imagine what kind of sight that must have been.
This is the point where Kenny and Tim’s stories diverge from the official police statement. Kenny began riding the horse around the parking lot, to which the deputies seemed to take offense.
They chased Chesney down in their patrol cars and, in Tim’s words, “they reached up and began to rip him from the horse.” McGraw, worried for the safety of both Kenny and his children who were playing nearby, ran over to help, along with his manager Mark Russo.
This part of the story is even more unclear. The police statement says McGraw put one of the officers in a chokehold, while Tim denies ever making contact with any of the officers. On the contrary, McGraw’s statement on the incident claims the officer “pulled his nightstick and hit me at least three times in the leg.”
For Kenny, the outcome was probably nothing more than a fun joke and memory. Chesney was charged with disorderly conduct and was forced to pay a $100 bail. I have a feeling the hilarious story was worth plenty more than a simple $100, and it is safe to say Kenny was good for the cash.
McGraw’s charges were considerably more serious, being cited for assault of a police officer, an accusation that carries a penalty of up to seven years in prison if convicted. Tim denied the charges in his official statement, and both men appeared in court to defend themselves.
In a later interview after the case was settled, Kenny had this to say about the legal proceedings:
“Like anybody we could’ve settled out of court, but Tim and I believed we were right. We knew we were right, we were not gonna settle. If we would’ve settled it would’ve sent a message that, ‘okay maybe they really did do it and they’re buying their way out of it.’ And that’s not what we wanted.“
In the end both were found not guilty and the incident seemed to fade into the background. I have to imagine the two still reminisce about the story to this day. How could you not? If something like this happened today the video would have gone completely viral. Too bad there weren’t any iPhones in 2000.
Take a look at Kenny’s media statement regarding the incident after the legal proceedings:
And check out the original news story from the New York Post here.