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St. Louis draft horse dies of apparent heart attack pulling holiday carriage

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King, a 22 year old Clydesdale, died of an apparent heart attack on Saturday night while pulling a carriage for guests who were admiring the Winter Wonderland Christmas Lights display in Tilles Park, Mo. reported

King suddenly acted strangely and seconds later fell and died. Acting St. Louis County Parks director Tom Ott stated:

"According to eyewitness accounts, the horse stopped, stretched and went down of an apparent heart attack. We are saddened by the loss of this beautiful animal but truly believe it died of natural causes."

King's owner, Jerry Kirk, rescued King four years ago, probably saving the horse from going to slaughter. Checked regularly by a veterinarian, King only worked a few days a week pulling carriages.

“The thing about these draft horses is they live to do this. That’s what they’re bred for. That’s what they’re here for. They love their work. They love to be out in the public. They get all the attention.”

In the past, thousands of carriage rides tour the Winter Wonderland Christmas Lights event, and this is only the second time in 28 years that a horse has died.

Rest in peace King.

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