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Headlines from the past: Ponies bolt during Port Moody Golden Spike Days 30 years ago

In this story from 30 years ago in the Tri-City News, a couple of ponies cause havoc at Golden Spike Days in Port Moody
Jimmy Dunn won the Port Moody bathtub race during Golden Spike Days in 1991. | Craig Hodge, Tri-City News file photo (courtesy Coquitlam Archives)

Stories from Tri-City News headlines of decades past will be a reoccurring feature as the publication approaches its 40th anniversary in 2024.

Canada Day and Golden Spike Days are among the most popular events in Port Moody.

And no wonder.

There are always big crowds, lots of food and great entertainment at this annual event — this year in its 46th iteration.

Other than maybe a few sunburns when the weather is nice, there is rarely a complaint or a problem.

However, there was more than enough excitement for everyone during Golden Spike Days in 1990.

Not only were there aerial acrobatics by parachutists and a bathtub race that brought in crowds, but horse and cart rides were offered to kids.

The activities encouraged participation in Golden Spike Days, but there was one particular mishap during the weekend of activities, as reported in the Tri-City News on July 4, 1990.

According to witnesses, a couple of ponies attached to a cart were resting in the shade when they got spooked.

The ponies bolted into a crowd, despite the efforts of the cart rider to jump in the buggy and reign them in.

The handler failed to control the ponies, and sprained their ankle jumping into the cart while and three other people were hurt as well, although none seriously, the Tri-City News reported.

However, one man was taken away by ambulance on a backboard, and a young girl was knocked down.

“It was horrible,” said a person who witnessed the accident, “the horses just ploughed into them.”

But while the incident made the front page, so did the excitement of all the other festivities on that Canada Day-Golden Spike weekend 30 years ago.

As to why the weekend festival is called Golden Spike Days, there’s a good answer to this question.

The event commemorates the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway line and its arrival at Port Moody, which was the original western terminus where the last spike was driven.

That’s why you’ll see panning for gold, lumber jacks, spike driving and can-can dancers at Golden Spike Days in Port Moody.

Among the files of the Tri-City News is coverage of Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody councils, local crime, local festivals and events similar to today’s stories you’ll find online and in print on Thursdays.

For a digital version of this week’s paper, visit the Issuu website.