Sick horses force New Castle County to cancel holiday event

Santa and his pony won't be greeting visitors this weekend after several horses were found with a virus at New Castle County's Carousel Park. (photo courtesy New Castle County)

Santa and his pony won't be greeting visitors this weekend after several horses were found with a virus at New Castle County's Carousel Park. (photo courtesy New Castle County)

There will be no Santa and His Pony event this weekend at Carousel Park in Pike Creek because a number of the horses at New Castle County’s equestrian center are sick.

A few horses at the facility were found with elevated temperatures over the weekend, and veterinarians determined they have a virus. While the virus isn’t life threatening and doesn’t pose a threat to humans, there is a danger that lots of human visitors during the holiday event could spread the virus to other horses at other stables.

“We deeply regret having to cancel this popular holiday program, but we have no choice,” said New Castle County Executive Tom Gordon in a statement. Noting that the NCCo Police Clydesdales are also housed at Carousel Park, Gordon added, “We would not take any chances with their health or that of other horses.”

Riding lessons, trail rides and cross country course riding at the park have also been cancelled until further notice. The county has also shuttered the park’s kids corral animal visiting program for the time being.

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