Horse community takes one last ride for Attleboro teen

Karen Kane leads "Jimmy" Gigi Caperno's horse a the start of tribute horse trail ride in memory of Gigi Caperno
Gabrielle “Gigi” Carpeno was full of laughs, untamed and had an adventurous spirit, always connecting with the outdoors, friends say.

But the Attleboro High School student also had a quieter side, known as a sweet “sister” to many, someone who would do what she could to turn a bad day into something positive. She was compassionate, caring and had a way with humans and animals alike.

In so many ways, they said, she was like the animals she tended to the most.

So, there was no tribute more fitting than a horseback trail ride through Borderland State Park in Easton for the Attleboro teen, who died June 20 of a heroin overdose. Friends and family of the horse lover gathered Monday for a celebration of life for the 17-year-old.

If Gigi were there, they said, she would be the first on the trail.

The Attleboro teen who died of a
heroin overdose Tuesday succumbed
to the epidemic in the place she
felt most at peace.

“She found her place at the barn,” her friend Caitlyn Viau said. “This is what she would’ve wanted. She would be running across the field right now.”

Instead, her horse Jimmy took Gigi’s place at the front of the line, slowly trotting forward.

The family horse, nearly 30 years old, was led bareback down the 3-mile trail first in Gigi’s honor, with small packs of horses and their riders following behind throughout the day.

Countryside Farm owner Tamera Emmett said organizing the tribute was cathartic and helped the horse community remember the girl for who she was, not how she died. Continue reading

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