Sheryn Bagley (left) finally met her rescuers, Ron Boucher and Carol Coley, a year after they came to her aid. photo provided
By Jim Fisher
An emotional surprise meeting was held on June 8 of Sisters Rodeo weekend between a recovering injured horseback rider and two Good Samaritans who came to her rescue a year ago.
The story begins on Saturday, June 9, 2012, as the Sisters Rodeo parade was getting ready to start. Salem residents Ron Boucher and Carol Coley were driving down West Hood Avenue in Sisters looking for a parking place so they could walk downtown to watch the parade. As they were driving past the back of Sisters Motor Lodge, Ron glanced over to the open field to the south and realized there was a woman trapped under her horse inside her horse trailer, parked alone. Ron made a quick U-turn, parked the car, and both he and Carol ran to the scene. They could hear her calling for help.
Sisters resident Sheryn Bagley, a Sisters Rodeo Association member and active volunteer, had been unloading her horse to get ready to be the flag bearer for the rodeo parade. Something spooked the horse and suddenly Sheryn found herself on the trailer floor with the horse on top of her.
The horse was still tied to the front of the trailer and its bridle had slipped down to around its neck. The hind legs of the horse were outside the trailer and extended under the trailer. Ron quickly loosened the rope holding the horse to the trailer, meanwhile dodging the hoofs that were thrashing around inside the trailer, striking the woman at times. Ron then grabbed the head of the horse and worked hard to back it out of the trailer and off Sheryn. This took a lot of strength, but Ron still had the strength he had as a former national champion wrestler in his weight class while attending Oregon State University many years ago.
When the horse was out of the trailer, Ron had Carol walk it away from the trailer and check it for injuries. Carol, an experienced rider and former member of the Molalla Buckaroo board of directors, was able to calm the horse.
Ron next went to work giving first aid to Sheryn. Some residents at Sisters Motor Lodge had come outside to check on the commotion. He yelled to them to quickly bring towels soaked in cold water that he used to wash the blood off Sheryn's face and to relive some of her pain. He then grabbed his cell phone and called 911, requesting an ambulance and medical help.
"What is your street address?" was the 911 response. Not even knowing the street he was on, he still managed to give them directions. In the meantime, Sheryn was still conscious and gave Ron and Carol the name of a friend over at the starting area of the parade to care for her horse. The ambulance came, checked Sheryn for injuries and drove her to Bend.
Suddenly, everyone was gone except Ron, Carol, and the horse. They found the person to care for the horse and the excitement was over. The whole situation had taken less than half an hour, and in the rush no one had exchanged names.
Sheryn was in the hospital for five days recovering from a broken collarbone and pelvis, at least one hoof blow to her face and other injuries,
Fast-forward to May 2013.
Sheryn and Dorene Fisher were sitting beside one another at a dinner discussing her experience. Sheryn stated that she never knew the names of those who had come to her rescue. She did remember a man helping her and a woman leading her horse away. Dorene told her that the Good Samaritans were her long-time friends who came to her home each year to attend the Sisters Rodeo with other guests and that they would be here again in June for the 35th annual gathering of the group.
Sheryn was excited to learn the names of her rescuers, and accepted an invitation to come to the 2013 gathering at the Fisher's home to meet the people. When Ron and Carol arrived, they were guided into the room where Sheryn waited. While other members of the gathering watched, Ron and Carol were asked "Have you ever met this woman?" They were still trying to answer that question when they were told that this was the woman they had rescued a year ago.
That's when things got a little emotional as hugs were exchanged.
"I think about that day often," Ron said. "It could have turned out much, much worse than it did."
While others listened, the three people relived the events of that day a year ago when the right people happened to be at the right place at the right time.