Horseback riders and bicyclists still feuding over Pawnee Prairie Park

KSN News

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A Valley Center woman is speaking out after a horseback rider was thrown off their horse because of a bicyclist who shouldn’t have been there.

According to signs at Pawnee Prairie Horse & Nature Park, bicycles, roller blades, and skateboards are prohibited.

So why are people still doing it and what’s being done?

The director said he learned of the weekend incident this afternoon and reiterated that bikes are not at all allowed.

Stephanie Blue of Valley Center says the city isn’t doing enough to keep horses and their riders safe.

Blue says Pawnee Prairie Horse & Nature Park has been her happy place for years. It’s an area she’d like to see her 10-year-old daughter ride through, but not now.

“I’m actually scared to take my daughter, just especially with the accident that happened this last weekend,” said Stephanie Blue, Valley Center.

She says she hasn’t had a problem with bikes that were traveling fast when riding in the park, but she’s had friends also knocked off their horses there. Blue thinks the city isn’t doing enough to protect her and others in the park.

“We’ve been posting on social media, directly to the city of Wichita, and they have been completely silent, and have not answered any of our questions,” said Blue.

We reached out the city’s park and recreation director to address those concerns. Troy Houtman said even though the park isn’t staffed, Wichita Police do enforce the rules. He added that they’re planning to have two trails designated for bikes, but that isn’t anytime soon.

Still Blue says bikers are breaking the rules.

“They’ve basically just played stupid and said they didn’t know they weren’t supposed to be there,” said Blue.

Blue says she doesn’t know how badly the person was injured last weekend that was thrown from their horse. But, she does know they’re okay. She hopes there are no more accidents.

“Unfortunately, it’s going to take somebody getting hurt badly in order for them to say hey, this is a problem,” said Blue.

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