OGDEN -- The parade went off with plenty of hitches -- just as planned.
The annual Horse and Hitch Parade is a long-standing part of Ogden Pioneer Days. And with more than 600 horses in the parade Monday evening, it's the largest such parade in the United States, said Tracy Smith, parade director.
"It's three times as big" as when Chet Leete said he attended the parade about 20 years ago.
Now he rides in a black buggy pulled by his quarter horse, Splash, with his son at the reins and his grandsons along for the ride.
Not every horse had a hitch -- most did not -- including paint horses Glory and Geronimo. The mother and son gave Hailey and Hannah Smith, 8-year-old twins, their first-ever ride in the parade.
The twins love the horses, which they keep on their Syracuse property.
"They're their best friends," said their mother, Robin Smith -- no relation to the parade director.
Thousands of people lined the parade route. Some were parents who attended as children and wanted to pass the tradition along to their children; others there for the first time.
Among them was McKenna Larson, 10, and her brother Ethan, 7, who watched the parade of horse and mule breeds clop down Washington Boulevard.
The siblings were a long way from their Fillmore home, but they were loving every minute of the show.
Their mother, Michelle Larson, just bought a leopard Appaloosa horse for McKenna. They are excited to learn all they can about the world of horses.
"Look, honey," Michelle Larson said, pointing out another horse. "I wish I knew all of the (breeds)."
Don Robinson does not have a history with the animals, but the North Ogden man was impressed nonetheless.
"They go as far as the eye can see," he said, marveling at the long line of horses, hitches and their riders from his vantage point near 20th Street on Washington Boulevard.
Though hundreds of horses were in the parade, the only horse to Emily Slama, 9, was Mustang, the old paint horse she rode down Washington Boulevard from 20th Street to 25th Street, then back up Grant Avenue to where they started.
It was the Plain City girl's first Horse and Hitch Parade, but not Mustang's.
"He's been doing parades for about 30 years," said Sherri Clawson, leader of the Plain City Junior Posse, which trains children, such as Emily, how to ride horses.
"He's 34 years old and still going strong."