VIDEO: Startled ponies injure 3 at parade

Posted at 2:22 AM, May 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-31 02:22:55-04

ELM GROVE, WI (WTMJ/CNN) – Three people were trampled by horses during a Memorial Day parade in Wisconsin when show ponies were startled and ran into a part of the crowd.

Video shows the two out-of-control Welsh ponies run down the street dragging a wagon behind them. The crowd lined up on the side of the road screams as people try to rush out of the way.

"Horses were coming around this corner with the trailer. The crowds were scattering. It was very, very scary,” a witness said.

The ponies’ handlers ran alongside the wagon, trying to stop the ponies, but they ultimately ran into the crowd.

Vietnam war veteran Rich Marshall, 77, was sitting in a chair when the ponies tore away from their handlers.

"I didn't see the horse. People were shouting, and the next thing I knew, boom. I was over there laying on the ground," he said.

The man hit his head on the ground and was trampled by the ponies. He has scrapes on his legs but didn’t suffer any serious injuries.

“First layer of skin is gone. Other than that, there's nothing wrong,” Marshall said.

Other victims included a 58-year-old woman who hit her head and injured her ankle and a 9-year-old boy who was hurt when the wagon hit him in the stomach. They were both hospitalized.

Greg Woolman, the woman’s husband, says his wife’s injuries could have been much worse.

"She was in-between the horses and the wagon, and it was lucky that they stopped because the wagon would have run over her,” he said.

The owner of the ponies, Erin Meadows Farm, says they’ve done hundreds of parades, and nothing like this has happened before.

"It stepped over the metal part that attaches to the wagon, so the pony got scraped up and startled. That's an injury, and we’re going to get some stitches. Kids and animals, expect the unexpected,” said Mary Jane Gallo with the farm.

Police say the horses may have been startled by fireworks or tennis balls that some kids were playing with near the parade route.

Copyright 2017 WTMJ, Meg Anderson via CNN. All rights reserved.