Headless Horseman Of Green River Rides Again

Colton Kraft hopes to make his homage to “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” — riding through Green River as the Headless Horseman — an annual thing.

JN
Jake Nichols

November 01, 20233 min read

For the second year in a row, Colton Kraft rode through Green River as the Headless Horseman on his trusty horse Spudley on Tuesday. Most kids weren't afraid of him, though, as he hands out candy.
For the second year in a row, Colton Kraft rode through Green River as the Headless Horseman on his trusty horse Spudley on Tuesday. Most kids weren't afraid of him, though, as he hands out candy. (Courtesy Photo)

Washington Irving’s “Headless Horseman” took to the streets in Green River on Tuesday, carrying on a longstanding tradition of the mythical rider appearing on Halloween to the delight — or fright — of the residents of Wyoming’s Sleepy Hollow.

Doing the honors yesterday was Colton Kraft. It was the second year the 32-year-old has clip-clopped the streets of Green River sans head to rave reviews. He plans to make it an annual thing.

“I’m not sure how I got the idea originally. I know for the last probably eight to 10 years, I’ve wanted to do it but it just never worked out until last year,” Kraft said.

Kraft’s wife Payton helped him get into costume and get the horse trailered to town along with Colton’s dad. She also made a last-minute candy run when Colton ran out.

The Headless Horseman, aka Colton Kraft, on his annual rounds through Green River on Halloween.
The Headless Horseman, aka Colton Kraft, on his annual rounds through Green River on Halloween. (Courtesy Photos)

A Headless Ride

Green River’s version of Ichabod Crane isn’t nearly as macabre as the original. Perhaps Kraft would have looked a lot scarier if not for his adorable mount. Everyone, especially the kiddos, was irresistibly drawn to the oh-so-petable Spudley.

Quick trivia question: What was the name of the Headless Horseman’s horse? Answer: Gunpowder.

Playing the part of Gunpowder this Halloween in Green River was Kraft’s 14-year-old team roping horse. Of the four horses he and his wife have, Spudley is Kraft’s favorite “head horse.”

Spudley acted his part to a T. He was probably just happy to be out of the arena and not chasing steers.

“He’s the one I trust the most with all the people,” Kraft said. “Little kids come running up to him. Most of them ask if they can pet him, but you do get a few that just run up to him.

“He is also great with traffic and horns. He’s pretty laid back and not much bothers him.”

And Kraft needed Spudley to do his part. Vision was good, but not great, out of two eye holes cut out from the headpiece of his costume.

Kraft visited the high school, handed out treats in front of the Hitching Post and made his way around downtown. Lots of people he ran into remembered seeing him last Halloween, so it’s becoming something of a tradition, Kraft thinks.

“That was so awesome. I hope he will do it again next year,” Keiara Schwegman posted on Facebook.

Looks like he will, Keiara. Pending script approval from Spudley, of course.

“I’ve had several requests to make this a tradition, so that will be the plan now,” Kraft said. “I will be doing it again next year.”

Colton Kraft as the Headless Horseman on his annual ride through Green River on Halloween.
Colton Kraft as the Headless Horseman on his annual ride through Green River on Halloween. (Courtesy Photo)
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JN

Jake Nichols

Features Reporter