Calvin Stein says heís no hero, but it was his quick action and horse instinct that saved a three-year-old girl from being trampled by a runaway team of horses at the Tweed Fair on Saturday. Stein, 51, of Madoc, was harnessing his own team waiting for his turn to compete at the fairís horse pull competition when he saw a team break free from their handler and head into a crowd of onlookers.
Q: Can you tell us what happened?
A: ďItís unfortunate. The team got away from a gentleman. I was standing
at my trailer waiting for our turn in the ring. Anyway, the team came
running and my instincts was to try to catch the team. I knew how to read
them. I knew the direction they were going and I knew where they were
ďI saw a father standing there with three kids talking to another
teamster. He had one on either side of him and the other was standing
beside the other guy on his right-hand side. I ran as fast as I could
screaming and everybody started to scatter. The father had ahold of two of
them and the three year old was just standing there, oblivious to what was
ďI just swooped the young lady up and I just basically ó I knew they were
close ó I just threw her. I knew sheíd bounce, she maybeíd break and arm
or a leg. I guess thatís not what youíre supposed to do ó throw kids ó but
I just threw her and the team mowed me over. I flipped and flopped and the
rest is history. The young lady was taken to hospital ó sheís fine, a few
bumps and bruises, very fortunate.
Q: What about you? Were you injured?
A: Iíve got a broken orbital socket, concussion, a bunch of stitches in
the face. Iím going to carry some dirty scars. And Iíve got one eye thatís
a little screwed up.
Q: Wow. The police described it as Ďminor injuries.í
A: Thatís what I told him. Iím fine. I can heal. Iím very optimistic.
Q: Could you see the horses coming? Did they trample you from
A: From the side. I tried to do it all in one motion. Pick her up and run.
But by the time I picked her up they were on top of me, so I just threw
her. Someone told me that it looked like, you know, when you have a child
sitting in your lap in a car accident and how they get ejected? They
thought she got ejected. But I remember throwing her. I remember
everything. I wasnít knocked out or nothing.
I just remember laying on the ground. When I hit the ground and the blood
pooling by my head. I thought it was over. I thought, ĎWell, this is the
way Calvinís going to croak.í
But I got excellent, excellent health care. Everyone complains about
health care, until they need it. Well, I needed it. That stay in the
hospital was nothing.
Q: Where did you go to hospital?
A: They took me to Belleville. That was my request. They were going to fly
me to Toronto, then they were going to fly me to Kingston. But they
couldnít get the helicopter landed at the fairground because of all the
animals. So I talked to the EMS, I said, ĎI can tell you thereís something
broken in my face, but the rest of me is just muscle bruising.í So they
took me down and ran me through their CAT scans and other run of the mill
Q: Do you consider yourself a hero?
A: It just happened. It was an accident. Iím just glad I was there to save
Somebody called me a hero. But if youíre going to write anything, you can
put this down: ĎIím not a hero. The heroes are the men and women of our
Canadian Forces, and the men and women of our police forces, and the men
and women of our EMS. Iím just an average person that did what everybody
should do. Look out for each other. Thatís what I really believe.
Q: Have you heard from the little girlís family?
A: They wanted to see me but my brother told them to wait a few days. They
sent me a couple of wonderful texts. They thanked me and said I was their
saviour and the whole shooting match, but thatís notÖ. Iím just me.Ē