Edited at 5:15 p.m. March 22, 2014. Edited with new details.
In what turned out to be the bloodiest Swallows Day Parade in its 56-year history in San Juan Capistrano, a second incident with a horse – this time a miniature horse – sent someone to the hospital.
At 12:11 p.m., a mini-horse pulling a small chariot “took off,” sending the 55-year-old woman riding in the chariot into the asphalt, said Captain Steve Concialdi of the Orange County Fire Authority.
“She was actually seriously injured. She had a decreased level of consciousness” from her head wound, Concialdi said, describing blood everywhere.
The incident stopped the parade for another 20 minutes.
Earlier, just as the parade was getting started, a large horse pulling a wagon spooked, dragging the other horse with it and the wagon into the crowd. That incident stopped the parade for 30 minutes.
That brings the total injured today to four, three in the first incident and a fourth in the second.
About the man in the wheelchair, Concialdi reported that "he's going to be OK."
He estimated this year's parade-watching crowd to be between 30-40,000 people.
City News Service contributed to this report.