Salt Lake City carriage horse Jerry dies following collapse in high heat, colic

The photo on the left was sent out Wednesday, Aug. 21 by Carriage for Hire. The photo on the right was taken by Jeremy Beckham on Aug. 17. Both photos purportedly showed Jerry the carriage horse, who collapsed in downtown Salt Lake City on Saturday, Aug. 17 from a sudden bout of colic.  Jerry has now died.
The photo on the left was sent out Wednesday, Aug. 21 by Carriage for Hire saying Jerry was recovering. The photo on the right was taken by Jeremy Beckham on Aug. 17. Both photos purportedly showed Jerry the carriage horse, who collapsed in downtown Salt Lake City on Saturday, Aug. 17 from a sudden bout of colic. Jerry has now died.

EMILEE EAGAR, reporting for the KSL Utah writes:

SALT LAKE CITY — A horse that collapsed downtown earlier this month died Friday, its owner said.

Blaine Overson, owner of Carriage for Hire, said he and his wife are upset about Jerry’s death.

“We cried between the two of us,” Overson said. “We’re sorry to see him go.”

After Jerry collapsed on Aug. 17, Overson said the horse was taken about 300 miles away to recover. On Wednesday, he called his wife to tell her Jerry was on the mend. Two days later, Overson said the horse “took a turn for the worse” and died.

“We get attached to (the horses),” he said. “Our drivers get attached to them, and they get attached to us.”

Overson said the criticism his company has received since Jerry collapsed has been difficult to take. He’s even received some death threats, he said.

“It’s really a sad thing that some of the people out there don’t understand that over 500,000 horses a year die of colic,” Overson said. “That’s what Jerry died of. They want to blame it on the fact that he was out there on the street.”

Mayor Ralph Becker’s office released a statement Monday saying city officials “are saddened” about the news of Jerry’s death.

“We are also extremely disappointed that the owners of Carriage for Hire chose not to publicly share this information in a timely manner,” the statement said.

Mayor Becker supports Salt Lake City Councilman Charlie Luke’s call for an investigation into the incident and the re-evaluation of the city ordinance that allows for horse-drawn carriages downtown, the statement said.

“Now that the horse has passed away, there are still a number of questions that are out there,” Luke said.

Read more at >>


We are so sorry about the death of Jerry. But it was expected.

However, anyone who works a horse in high temperatures — even if it is not against City Ordinance — and sees no problem with it is not a responsible, caring horse owner. Advocates do not need informing. We understand the conditions so many of these horses are worked in cities across the country. The story ends up being the same more often than not. And why do they always try to cover their abuses by saying the horses “enjoy” it? Horses do enjoy having something to do; they like being employed. But not in cruel circumstances.

Insofar as the lie about the photograph, would the public ever been told that Jerry had died?


Carriage horse owner sent photo of wrong horse, says Jerry is recovering; The Salt Lake City Tribune; by Jim Dalrymple II; Aug. 24, 2013

Salt Lake city carriage horse collapses in the heat; Tuesday’s Horse; Aug. 20, 2013

13 thoughts on “Salt Lake City carriage horse Jerry dies following collapse in high heat, colic”

  1. “However, anyone who works a horse in high temperatures — even if it is not against City Ordinance — and sees no problem with it is not a responsible, caring horse owner.” — YOUR QUOTE.

    I don’t believe Jerry’s owners were “not being responsible, caring owners” either when they allowed him out to do a tour. I do believe they became frightened and panicked by the resulting uproar stoked by the PETA man, who had video and expressed his OPINIONS as though they were FACTS regarding Jerry on TV and in the newspaper.. I think that having strangers peering into your property and receiving death threats would “spook” even the bravest horse owners no matter for what purpose they keep horses.

    I want to know if you think that any horse owner who is showing horses this weekend (the National Tennessee Walking Horse Celebration has been going on fo a week now and ends Saturday night), or trail riding this month, or entering horse races, or participating in any other equine-related activity is “not a responsible, caring horse owner.”?

    What about people who are “schooling” their horses right now to prepare for the fall show and competition circuit? Or does the “not a responsible, caring horse owner” description not apply in those situations. And if not, why not?

    What about the CDE competitions going on in Europe as well as here during the summer months? How about the eventing meets? Are the owners of these horses “not being “responsible, caring owner(s)”? And if you say that they are responsible and caring, what makes them different, in your mind, than the carriage livery owners in Salt Lake City?

    Do “cruel circumstances” apply ONLY to horses who are owned by commercial carriage liveries, especially in cities, in your world view? If so, why? I would think that running complicated reining patterns, or practicing dressage moves or taking jumps at a gallop in high temperatures would be just as “cruel” or even more “cruel” than walking while put to a carriage, even if walking down a paved street in a city.

    Personally, I do not think any of this is “cruel” as long as the owner and rider/ driver are not stressing the horse beyond limits, and are working their horses responsibly taking heat into consideration.

    And acutally, no one has proved that “high temperatures’ have a direct effect or are a causal agent in colic. In fact, most “colics” are reported during spring and fall when the climate is transitioning between the heat of summer and the cold of winter. At least that is what my vet claims.

    What about people who practice for team sorting and team penning events and participate in them in “high temperatures? How about barrel racers and pole benders? How about those little ponies that are ridden by beginning riders in the summers for pony games? Are the people using their horses in these pursuits also “not (a) responsible, caring owner(S)”?

    Remember, people who show or compete in horse sports “make money” from these activities, too. They win prizes and purses, stand horses at stud, and sell the offspring of their winning horses. Sometimes they even sell the horses themselves for a profit.

    Please enlighten me and the rest of your readers as to why you believe that the Oversons are not “responsible and caring” based on their loss of this one horse Jerry?


    1. I am sorry you fail to see that working horses, whether it is pulling a carriage — as in this case — or racing them, competing them, whatever, in high heat that is potentially dangerous to their health, is uncaring. Searing heat and sweltering humidity can be dangerous for horses. They can easily get into trouble with dehydration, weakness, colic, even heatstroke.

      So, what about all those people you quoted? Guilty — if they put their horses at risk to win prizes and money regardless of conditions. Just because a lot of people do it does not make it right.

      Perhaps the Oversons will be more careful with their horses, but at the expense of Jerry’s life.


      1. It’s Sad about what happen, but what if it does gt banned what’s going to happen to the horses?
        Get auctioned off and end up in some dog food, Oh so much more healthy for them.

        Or what if they get set free, In the wild, A broken leg and die a even more horrible and painful death, get killed by predators,

        Just because one horse died, doesn’t mean all the other horses will just start dripping like flies, out of how many years they have been doing it, Obviously more then 13 years since that’s how old the horse was, I aftually got to meet the horse, he was very happy working and out on the street, instead of in a stall all day getting far,

        People die all the time working in their jobs, does anybody care, no


    2. Mam, your examples are all over the place. Best to stick to the topic at hand. Jerry was pulling a carriage in 97 degree heat for a length of time. How long? What was the humidity? What was the surface temp? Was there a necropsy taken? Why was a picture of another horse shown that didn’t resemble Jerry when Jerry was probably already gone. What were they trying to hide?


  2. I feel very sorry for Jerry. Maybe this is just wishful thinking on my part, but I believe that Overson honestly felt bad for the horse. However, I think he could have done more to prevent this from happening. He shouldn’t have been worked under such high temperatures. I hope that Overson looks back on this as a learning experience and takes the initiative to ensure better working conditions for his other horses in the future.


  3. I hate to say it, because I wouldn’t wish anyone bad, but I’m glad that the owner is receiving death threats. Perhaps that is what it will take to wake him up to the abuse he is abetting and prevent another Jerry. Mr. Overson needs to get into a business that does not torture horses for money.


    1. Another way to look at it Linda, is when the extremists get involved horse abusers use it, saying it shows how dangerous animal lovers are. I have not known threats of any kind to do anything but hurt the work we are trying to do to protect animals (horses in our case). Does it really change anyone’s mind, or just make them hide their crimes more?


  4. Hi –
    I don’t know if anyone will get this, but it is OBVIOUS that the 2 pictures are not the same horse!!
    Jerry was taken 300 miles away – that’s ridiculous, but perhaps it was closer to the Mexican border.


    1. Had not thought of that Kathi, about the border. Surely they would not send a sick horse to slaughter in a case made the newspapers. Will be interesting to see if there is actually a body to do a necropsy on. With these shifty characters and their bait and switch tricks, they better make sure get the right body.


  5. God Speed to Sweet Jerry. Such a tragic ending to a beautiful boy. I’m bothered by the WHOLE thing.. Working in such high heat… etc. What made me really wonder was the fact that after the boy was colicking; WHY was he carted 300 MILES AWAY? In a HOT trailer, on HOT pavement for a ride that probably was 4+ hours long? WHO ARE these ‘people’ and how many more animals do they own? I hope Charlie Luke in SLC gets to the bottom of this. Thanks so much for the article and the update.


  6. Very obviously, not Jerry in the photo of a different horse in the stall. Very “telling.” A massive lie. “Cover-up.” So that sends out the questions: What other lies have Jerry’s owners told & what have they withheld? I would think Jerry just might have had symptoms of not being well before he needed to kick his own abdomen & collapse. It was summertime. Vacations. Lots of high paying customers. Need to keep the carriage horses out there hauling…$$$. Jerry just might have been put back to work, like the next day, or so? Jerry just might have not had adequate vet care, or none…cost $$$. A true neglect by the city and/or carriage horse owners not to have a horse ambulance at the ready with so many carriage horses. Barbaric forklift? For a live animal who is suffering an injury or ill? Lastly, why the delay in reporting Jerry’s death? Jerry collapsed Saturday, 8/17, & according to his owner, “on the mend,” Wednesday, 8/21, & supposedly died, Friday, 8/23? An investigation needs to be made here. Owner, driver… Just might be some animal cruelty charges needed. Big Time.


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