Audience members take unexpected tumble from sleigh at Caravan Farm Theatre | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Audience members take unexpected tumble from sleigh at Caravan Farm Theatre

One of the sleighs pulled by a team of horses at the Caravan Farm Theatre's winter show in Armstrong is pictured in this Facebook photo from Dec. 31, 2016.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/Photo by Tim Matheson
December 23, 2017 - 1:30 PM

ARMSTRONG – One of the sleighs at a North Okanagan theatre company’s annual Christmas show tipped its load of audience members onto the snow last night.

The accident happened during one of the evening performances of the Gift of the Magi yesterday, Dec. 22, at the Caravan Farm Theatre’s property on Salmon River Road in Armstrong.

The theatre company’s interim artistic director Estelle Shook calls the accident “incredibly distressing and highly irregular.”

The annual Christmas shows feature sleighs pulled by teams of horses which carry audience members to various stages around the 40-acre property.

Shook says last night one of the sleighs went over an ice berm on the way back to the yard after the performance, cracked a runner and tipped just enough to tumble the people out onto the snow.

“There was a big commotion… the horses were immediately halted and everything came to a standstill while we dealt with the situation.”

Shook says no one was seriously hurt, although some people were left with bruises.

The sleighs and their teams of horses at the Caravan Farm Theatre are seen in this submitted photo.
The sleighs and their teams of horses at the Caravan Farm Theatre are seen in this submitted photo.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Tim Matheson

B.C. Ambulance and the Armstrong-Spallumcheen Fire Department responded to the accident.

A woman whose injuries were the most concerning kept saying she was fine and after a check by paramedics was let go, Shook says.

“It’s just due process that anybody who is involved in an incident here gets checked out by the ambulance services,” she says.

Shook has since spoken with the group of people involved in the accident and they are all fine, chalking it up as “a big adventurous night.”

“It’s not the kind of adventure we strive for and we’re glad everyone is OK,” she says.

The theatre company is confident the landscape problem that caused the accident has been addressed.

“We want to assure our public it’s a highly irregular occurrence and all of our resources are bent toward making sure that set of circumstances never occurs again.”

Shook says in the past 30 years of staging winter productions this is only the second time an audience member has been tipped out of a sleigh. The last time it happened in 2009 it was the result of an unbalanced load which is something they learned from and now never do.

“Every time we learn from these freak incidents and carry on,” she says.

She says all the people who work at the Caravan Farm Theatre are skilled professionals who take their jobs very seriously and take their responsibility to the public very seriously.

“People come here to have a good time... this is an important part of a lot of people’s holidays and we don’t want them to feel anxious about their upcoming reservation.”

To contact a reporter for this story, email Howard Alexander or call 250-309-5343 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © iNFOnews, 2017

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