Horse in Christmas parade requires human pooper scooper
True Holiness Church Pastor Clifton McNealy followed closely behind a horse on Saturday with a stroller, his 8-month-old triplets, his son and a shovel.
John Lloyd, or ‘Big John,’ cracked his bull whip and guided his golden buckskin quarter horse, Kitty, sideways, frontwards and towards awed children wanting to pet her at Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce’s 40th annual Christmas Parade.
McNealy was Kitty’s designated pooper scooper.
“The more you ride, the more they poop,” Lloyd said.
Even though he fed her two scoops of feed and some hay that morning, Kitty defecated twice on the parade’s route.
These droppings were shoveled by McNealy. Spectators applauded as he cleaned it up, and Kitty kept on trotting.
In between Kitty’s bowel movements, McNealy carried his crying daughter Alana, calming her down, and greeting members of the community. Some he knew from his church, True Holiness Church in Punta Gorda, while others he knew from growing up in the area. His son, Devon, pushed the stroller for his other siblings, and correctional officer Zack Schmidgall pushed the wheelbarrow where the poop was being deposited.
In order to have his horse in Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce’s 40th annual Christmas Parade, Lloyd had to have someone keeping the streets clean after Kitty did her business. And, surprisingly, this job has been highly sought after over the years.
“There are thousands of people who are going to see you doing this humble job,” Lloyd said, with local politicians and public figureheads “begging to do it” in the past.
But to McNealy, it wasn’t about publicity or even picking up poop.
To him, picking up poop was like helping people and “looking at the lesser parts of people and pick them up.”
“You can’t look down on people,” McNealy said. “We’re never too high to come low. You have to get out of the stoops and get down with people.”
“(McNealy) helps people and it’s not known,” Lloyd said. “He’s that type of guy who’s just a blessing.”
Though the wheelbarrow stank by the end, McNealy wants to do it again next year, possibly making it a family tradition.
“Who would’ve known it’d be so enjoyable,” he asked.
True Holiness Church is located on 326 E. Charlotte Ave. in Punta Gorda. McNealy gives his sermons at 10 a.m. Sundays.
Originally published in the Charlotte Sun on Dec. 9, 2018.