CHARLESTON, S.C. — The Petition regarding Big John, the downed Charleston carriage horse, is now closed, but we just learned that the Petition’s sponsor was harassed and threatened. Please contact the Charleston, S.C. Mayor’s and report this disturbing, bullying behavior and call for an investigation.
The Petition urged Charleston Carriage Works to retire Big John the draft horse who had collapsed while pulling a carriage laden with tourists. It received 155,426 online signatures and 1.4 million “likes” on Facebook.
It was reported that Big John simply tripped and fell. We have specialist knowledge when it comes to horses. Horses rarely trip and fall on a flat surface going at a slow pace pulling a heavy load unless they are exhausted from being worked without enough rest and in extreme temperatures. Add this to this Big John’s age.
Big John is by all accounts at least 22 years old, some say older. This makes him a senior horse and in good conscience should be retired. “Rancho Relaxo opened their hearts and barn doors to Big John offering a beautiful and safe place for Big John to retire”, the Petition states.
The Petition is now closed. In spite of the 155,426 signatures and the support of a million plus on Facebook, the owners were not moved, rejected the offer of free retirement care for Big John and intend to work this elderly carriage horse ferrying loads of tourists day after day in downtown Charleston in high heat and beyond.
At one point the proceedings took a sinister turn. The Petitioner organizer was harassed and threatened. Here is the follow up message to those who signed the Petition:
I have been harassed to no end because of my stance on this issue. My personal phone number and address have been posted online. I have received threatening phone calls from one crazed individual who is putting the blame on me when it comes to the original video being posted – even though I did not know about the incident for days after it happened. I did not start this petition for any reason other than me feeling sympathetic and compassionate toward an old horse who – in my eyes – needed to be retired. I have spoken to the owner of Big John and he has no interest in retiring Big John currently.
We believe we should continue to act on behalf of Big John and now Caitlin by reporting the behavior of those connected with Big John and the Charleston Carriage Works to the Mayor’s Office.
Make a note of what you would like to say, then telephone or email the Mayor of Charleston, S.C. concerning Charleston Carriage Works and the collapse and continued working of an elderly carriage horse including the threats to Caitlin who was moved by compassion to start the Petition to help an elderly, distressed carriage horse.
The unjust and uncaring treatment meted out by the carriage horse trade in Charleston, S.C. has gone on long enough. Ask the Mayor to make this issue a priority and get it banned. Downed carriage horses are common. So far no one — neither horse nor passenger — has been killed. There are plenty of alternative ways to ferry tourists around that are fun , enjoyable and safe, but most of all do not involved cruelty to horses.
For our Twitter advocates use @CityofCharleston @JohnTecklenburg.
This isn’t over until it’s over. Thank you for taking action for the carriage horses of Charleston.
“Will you sign a Petition to help Big John the downed Charleston, S.C. carriage horse?“, Tuesday’s Horse, May 1, 2017