Organizers of Sunday’s All Horse Parade said the parade was a huge success, despite a health scare for one of the participants.
Diane Winter, the parade organizer, said Kevin Stryker, of Greenville, Ohio, was walking alongside several horses when he had a heart attack and fell to the ground at about 3:50 p.m.
The official incident report says that after he fell, he was not hit by any vehicles or trampled by any horses. Winter said Monday afternoon that Stryker was taken to Grant Medical Center where he is recovering. Winter said Stryker had broken some bones in his face but was alive and alert. Some posters on social media had suggested that he had died.
Delaware police said that rumors that he was trampled by the parade and died were unfounded.
Despite the incident, Winter said the parade was a success and had a great turnout.
Winter said Monday that 120 units, representing more than 25 breeds, participated in the parade and said that people came from as far as Canada to see the parade.
Winter said estimates put the attendance of the parade at between 65,000 and 70,000 people. Sunday’s parade marked the 30th anniversary of the event.
The Budweiser Clydesdales were the highlight the parade and their handlers had plenty of compliments for Delaware, according to Winter.
Winter said the handlers told her that even though the Clydesdales participate in parades year round all across the county, this was the first time they had been in a parade that didn’t have a gap in the crowd.
“It’s a compliment to all the people who came out,” Winter said. “I think it was a great day for everybody.”
This is the third time the Clydesdales have been in the local parade. They first appeared at the 15th All Horse Parade in 2000, and at the county fair in 2008 (just missing Hurricane Ike), Winters said. However, the Clydesdales are no strangers to the fairgrounds — they sometimes stay overnight there when changing teams, because the facility has 14-foot by 14-foot stable stalls in the Jug or Jugette barn that can house the larger horses. A horse can eat 20 to 25 quarts of feed, 40 to 50 pounds of hay and 30 gallons of water in a day. At least six people travel with the Clydesdales at all times.
Winter said she has already begun preparing for next year’s parade. Winter said the parade will be held on Sept. 11.
Winter also said she wanted to thank the sponsors who made the annual event possible.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG. Gary Budzak contributed to this story.