Melbourne carriage horses.

Australian carriage driver repeatedly kicks downed horse

by Jonathan Forani Writer

An animal rights groups in Australia is asking for a ban on horse-drawn carriages in Melbourne after a video of a driver kicking a collapsed horse went viral. View it at the end of this post.

In the clip posted to Facebook on Dec. 15, the carriage driver can be heard telling the woman filming to “p*** off” as she tried to intervene. The horse, named Tuesday, had collapsed and was apparently unable to stand while still chained to the carriage. After a few minutes, the horse was untethered and able to right itself. But not before a barrage of aggression from the driver.

“Get up! F****** lazy b****,” the driver is heard saying. He repeatedly tried to lift the horse from its neck, kicking its head and back (video at end of post).

A Melbourne-based group opposed to horse-drawn carriages told in a Facebook message that they have received no word from local council or state government after complaints about the incident.

“We hope this awful incident will finally make them stop passing responsibility to each other and instead work together to get horse-drawn vehicles banned,” wrote a spokesperson for Melbourne Against Horse-Drawn Carriages, adding that the viral clip is “not an isolated incident.”

In interviews with local news, Unique Carriage Hire stood by the driver.

“It is out of character, but it was a very stressful situation,” Dean Crichton from Unique Carriage Hire told 7News. “I don’t condone his language but at times like that, help is better than negative comments.”

 *  *  *

Can you believe the nerve of these people? It seems that only the lowest sorts of people are carriage horse drivers. If they aren’t, what are they doing in this business? There’s no defending it. We have tried looking at it from the point of view of the owners and drivers, met with many in major cities across the U.S. (well, the ones who weren’t making threats and threatening violence anyway). The obvious conclusion is this — it’s a no win for the horse.

A carriage horse’s daily routine and standard of living is unnatural and unhealthy very similar to that of a racehorse’s. The nature of the day-to-day business itself is always potentially dangerous and again, totally unnatural for the horse, which often results in mental and physical stress. Then there is the noise factor, congestion, traffic and other “frighteners” that can make a horse bolt, and the amount of weight they are expected to pull. And of course, there are the falls, the collapses and accidents with other vehicles.

The horse drawn carriage business is an archaic business whose time is well passed and ultimately, animal cruelty.

You know that the ASPCA was founded in New York to deal with all sorts of animal cruelty, but especially the plight of the horses who pulled nearly every type of conveyance imaginable through the city’s dirty and congested streets. Henry Bergh, the group’s founder, was a wealthy and well connected man. The story goes that while on assignment in Russia as an American diplomat, he stopped a carriage driver from beating his fallen horse.

When Bergh got home he went straight to work forming a group to help horses and other animals. Today’s ASPCA washed their hands of the plight of New York City’s carriage horses some years ago now, as we understand it.

 *  *  *

Here’s the video of the collapsed Melbourne, Australia carriage horse. It’s hard to watch.

NEWS SOURCE: CTV News Canada at

In 2017, Melbourne’s Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said he did not believe horses had any place among the bustling traffic of Melbourne, and said some operators acted like “cowboys” with no regard for the welfare of the horses they force to work long hours, often in extreme weather conditions, while walking on hard pavement and inhaling exhaust fumes. Placing large animals who scare easily into congested city traffic is as dangerous as it is cruel.

Wonder what the current Lord Mayor of Melbourne Sally Capp, elected just one year after, has to say.

In the meantime, there is a Facebook page — Melbourne Against Horse Drawn Carriages.

Featured Image: Two carriage horses nuzzle for comfort in downtown Melbourne, Australia.

27 thoughts on “Australian carriage driver repeatedly kicks downed horse”

  1. First, I don’t know why the horse was down. I will assume he tripped since pulling a carriage for an obviously well fed horse is not hard work.
    I don’t think there was anything abusive about the driver using his foot to push – not kick – the horse to encourage him to get up, since the horse was obviously not injured (as evidenced by him easily rising when he was ready to get up). Since it is impossible to lift them up, a downed horse must be vigorously encouraged to rise on their own. The photographer was obviously interfering & just made the situation more stressful for the driver, which is why he snapped at her.
    I once had a real emergency when a vet had to use an electric shock device to get one of my horses to stand so we could transport her to a clinic for surgery. I hated having to yell at, kick & whip her to get her to stand without success. If anyone had made a video of that, it would have looked very abusive, but if we hadn’t gotten her to her feet, she would have had to be euthanized where she was.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I think so too. I saw they fired the guy. “After viewing the full unedited footage yesterday we now have a clear understanding of what happened,” a statement read.”And we do not feel that the driver handled the situation well or to our high standards so we have decided to let him go.” How anyone who thinks that yelling “Get up. F***ing lazy b***h.” at a horse who had fallen and couldn’t get up, is acceptable is a disgrace IMHO.


        1. The company certainly has the right to fire their employee for not living up to their standards. That said, I doubt the horse understood the language used, and obviously he was able to eventually get up.


          1. You seem to be a particularly nasty and arrogant kind of individual. No one is saying the horse knew what the words mean. It’s the tone and abusive nature of the words and actions. Do you not think animals are responsive to these things?

            Liked by 1 person

        2. Animals do comprehend the tone of language, but it’s silly to think they understand what words are abusive. It’s possible to use a nice tone with nasty words or a nasty tone with sweet words.


          1. Sure. Sugar coat it all. Someone who verbally abuses animals by screaming at them with expletives is unlikely to feel compassion. But continue with your tirade on here. It’s comical actually. Some hot-headed know-it-all trying to tell people how they should think and feel. Sorry, but the reality is that many do not feel the way you do about these things or think that these kind of things are acceptable. It doesn’t make you ”right’ and the rest wrong. Why do you even bother to come here? To preach to the rest of us who don’t agree with you?


            1. You are incapable of having a discussion of another viewpoint. Instead, you choose to insult & demean those that disagree with you. Nowhere have I condoned animal abuse. What I was able to see in the video did not constitute abuse, IMO. Maybe it might have seemed different if I was there, but I wasn’t. You, OTOH, are quick to condemn everyone that disagrees with you.


      2. It speaks volumes that I am not the type of person to make assumptions without facts. Every AR person I’ve seen on line, always jumps to conclusions and assumes the worst even under the most innocuous situations. I’ve seen videos edited to make things appear worse than they are.
        All that said, I am deeply opposed to real animal abuse, but this video did not strike me as being that.


        1. We shudder to think how egregious the offense would have to be before you would actually consider it “real” animal abuse. To us that speaks volumes about you. You seem to have some sort of disconnect. We also find it odd you spend time commenting here knowing what we do and stand for.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Real animal abuse as defined by the FBI:
          Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly taking an action that mistreats or kills any animal without just cause, such as torturing, tormenting, mutilation, maiming, poisoning, or abandonment. Included are instances of duty to provide care, e.g., shelter, food, water, care if sick or injured, transporting or confining an animal in a manner likely to cause injury or death; causing an animal to fight with another; inflicting excessive or repeated unnecessary pain or suffering, e.g., uses objects to beat or injure an animal. This definition does not include proper maintenance of animals for show or sport; use of animals for food, lawful hunting, fishing or trapping.

          The vast majority of AR activists think most human/animal interaction is abusive. I reject that as projecting their own misanthropic feelings onto an animal.


    1. when you used the word “real” ugh, you got me worried, REAL CREEPY! i sure hope you got another Vet!
      the driver was more concerned about losing money. nothing in the video showed me that he made any attempt to comfort the horse.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I used the word “real” to differentiate actual abuse from what ignorant people think is abuse. The definition clearly describes what constitutes abuse. A horse being used to pull a carriage in a city is not abusive in and of itself. In this particular instance, it is hard to tell from just the video everything that was happening. Since the carriage company has dismissed the driver, then that should be sufficient. No need to “keep beating a dead horse”, and making assumptions as to what the driver’s “real” motives were. Maybe he just didn’t know the best way to get the horse back on his feet, and was being stressed out by the onlookers.


  2. I read about all of the law I could handle (very legalese) and it seems we have a violation. Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 is what we are directed to for Victoria but I was reading Animal Care and Protection Act 2001.
    Wish I knew how to edit these comments but, until then it’s another post🙄.
    I’m going to start here:

    The Hon. Jaclyn Symes MLC
    Minister for Agriculture
    Level 36, 121 Exhibition Street
    Melbourne VIC 3000
    Phone: (03) 8392 2261

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oops. I am a complete dog person and, before I wrote here, I wanted to be pretty sure. I think “mongrel” may not have been the word you were looking for and, to my way of thinking, is actually a complement😉?


    1. I’m a great dog lover having owned many all my life.
      In Australia, the term “mongrel bastard” means the lowest of the low life humans. It’s most certainly not demeaning the canine animal.


      1. 😉 In that case it’s the word bastard that seals it’s fate. I’m not certain but that word may be demeaning to ones mother?


  4. I have not seen the video and will trust all of your writings. My recollection is Australia has some fairly brutal animal welfare laws. We suspect Unique Carriage Hire is going to do nothing. In this country videos have been quite effective as evidence leading to conviction. I’ll dig around and see what I can find out about law enforcement in Melbourne.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Phil, the state of Victoria has an animal cruelty legislation with which I am not familiar. However, I’d be surprised if this creep was not in breach of Victoria’s animal cruelty laws.
      When it comes to charging a person with animal cruelty under the state of NSW’s POCTA Act, it must be proved that the act committed upon the animal was unnecessary, unreasonable and unjustified.
      To my knowledge, Victoria is the only state in Australia that allows horse-drawn carriage businesses to operate. Victoria is also known for its notorios hurdle and steeplechase racing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. “…….that the act committed upon the animal was unnecessary, unreasonable and unjustified.”

        I go with unjustified first. I’ve always wondered why they didn’t untether the horse immediately so it could move.. Bastards.


  5. This mongrel bastard must be dragged before the courts and severely dealt with.
    He repeatedly kicked the horse’s head and I found it upsetting that no one there protected the horse’s head so he couldn’t keep on doing it. 😭

    Liked by 2 people

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