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Country music fans, buckle up and get ready for a wild ride down memory lane! We’ve got a jaw-dropping story that involves two of the genre’s biggest stars: Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw. Picture this: it’s June 3, 2000, and the place is Buffalo, New York.
The stage is set for the George Strait Country Music Festival, where our beloved artists are set to perform alongside legends like Martina McBride and Lee Ann Womack.
But little did anyone know that this event would be forever etched in the annals of country music history. As the festival wrapped up and the sun began to set, an unexpected incident unfolded.
Kenny Chesney, then just 32 years old, made a decision that would have lasting consequences. In a moment of daredevilry, he hopped onto a deputy’s horse and rode off into the night, leaving everyone stunned.
However, this escapade took a turn for the worse when Tim McGraw, then 33, and his manager, Mark Russo, intervened. Reports claim that they engaged in a scuffle with Erie County Sheriff’s Deputies who tried to halt Chesney’s equine escapade.
The situation escalated quickly, and the trio found themselves in the clutches of the law, resulting in an arrest that made national headlines. This infamous incident would forever be known as the “horse incident.”
Charges were filed: Chesney faced disorderly conduct, while McGraw was charged with a felony for assaulting a police officer, who sustained minor injuries during the fracas.
According to PEOPLE, “At no time did I throw any punches or put anyone in anything remotely resembling a choke hold,” McGraw said. “One of the officers pulled his nightstick and hit me at least three times on my leg.”
A year later, all three men were found not guilty, bringing a wave of relief and celebration. Chesney later clarified that the whole incident had been blown out of proportion, stemming from a misunderstanding.
“Unfortunately, what was meant to be a totally innocent and fun gesture, was blown way out of proportion,” Chesney said in 2000, according to Syracuse. “Tim McGraw and I have been friends for a very long time. When he saw me in danger of being harmed, he simply came over to help out his friend.”
It seems that he had innocently gained permission from the daughter of Erie County Sheriff’s Department Capt. James Coyle to mount her father’s horse. However, things spiraled into chaos from there. Chesney’s explanation offered a glimpse into the loyalty and bravery of his friend, Tim McGraw. When danger loomed, McGraw came to his aid without a second thought.
Fast forward to today, and the bond between these country icons remains unbreakable.
They’ve shared the stage numerous times, including their unforgettable Brothers of the Sun tour in 2012, which earned them a coveted CMA Award for their collaboration “Feel Like a Rock Star.” Both artists have returned to Buffalo, a city that holds both memories and forgiveness, to serenade their adoring fans.
So, dear fans, remember this tale as a testament to the enduring spirit of friendship and the wild adventures that can unfold when the lights dim and the country tunes begin to play.
Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw may have ridden off into the sunset on a stolen horse, but their story remains etched in the hearts of country music enthusiasts everywhere.