Carriage horse collapses and is blamed for upsetting the people who jeopardized his life

ONE GREEN PLANET (Carriage Horses) — You know we live in a sad world when the story of a horse collapsing from exhaustion makes someone else the victim. The Daily Mail story on this carriage horse says the following: “A bride and groom’s special day took a tragic turn when the horse pulling their ornate wedding carriage collapsed with heat exhaustion.” That’s right folks, the bride and the groom faced the tragic circumstances because the animal they forced to drive them around fell down. It must have been awful for them not being able to be driven uphill by a horse.

This story isn’t about smearing the bride and groom. This story is about the bigger issue of carriage horses who are treated as inanimate objects as opposed to animals that live, feel, and breathe. This horse was pulling approximately 800 pounds, uphill, on a blazing, hot day in Italy. The poor animal eventually collapsed in the street, unable to pull the weight any longer. For more go here »

WATCH

YouTube video removed.

The Horse Fund does not want to hear any more apologists concerning the carriage horse trade. It is time — past time — to put a total stop to it. If that’s too radical for some, oh well. So be it. —Editor.

Montreal’s mayor announces news rules for horse drawn carriages

A horse-drawn carriage rides in Old Montreal Wednesday, May 18, 2016 in Montreal. Montreal mayor Denis Coderre announced there will be a one-year moratorium on the carriages following recent accidents. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson.
A horse-drawn carriage rides in Old Montreal Wednesday, May 18, 2016 in Montreal. Montreal mayor Denis Coderre announced there will be a one-year moratorium on the carriages following recent accidents. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson.

MONTREAL, Canada — The horse drawn carriage (calèche) business in Montreal has a checkered history something it has in common with every other city who operates this type of business.

Last month, Montreal’s Mayor Coderre imposed a one year ban in order to assess the situation and give them time to unveil a new plan for the industry next spring that will create “optimal conditions for the horses” only to have it reversed by a Quebec Superior Court justice.

Now Coderre is prepared to table (introduce) a set of guidelines on how the horse drawn carriage business can ply its trade.

CTV reports:

Montreal will table new regulations to protect the welfare of horses working in the city’s controversial horse-drawn carriage industry, Mayor Denis Coderre announced Wednesday.

Coderre said the rules will include limits on how long the horses can work and in what temperatures.

“I think the horse is part of our history, part of our heritage, and we have to make sure that we protect, first and foremost, the horses,” he told reporters.

Last year, Coderre tried to place a one-year moratorium on the popular tourist draw after several accidents involving caleche horses were caught on camera.

That decision was later reversed after a Quebec Superior Court justice ruled the carriages should be allowed to continue operating.

In an executive committee meeting earlier Wednesday, Coderre said the new rules would limit the horses’ working days to nine hours and prevent them from working at temperatures over 28 C. They will also have to be seen by a veterinarian at least twice a year.

The bylaw will be tabled Monday and is expected to be adopted in August.

In the long term, Coderre said the city would consider building new stables for the horses.

Coderre’s announcement was quickly panned by some animal-welfare advocates, who have been calling for a total ban on the carriage rides.

Read full article »

No matter how well intentioned, Coderre’s regulations are welfarist and will not improve the lives of the horses in any substantial way. Most importantly of all, however, they will do nothing to remove the threat of accident resulting in injury and death.

Just last month CBC News reported on two carriage horse accidents in a single day within an hour of each other:

Witnesses say the horse pulling the second carriage tripped and fell on the ground. (Marie-Maude Pontbriand/Radio-Canada)
Witnesses say the horse pulling the second carriage tripped and fell on the ground. (Marie-Maude Pontbriand/Radio-Canada)

Two calèches were involved in two separate accidents in Quebec City Saturday afternoon, near the Château Frontenac.

In the first case, the driver appeared to have lost control of his horse, according to a spokesperson from the Quebec City police.

The driver was sent to hospital with minor injuries to her legs.

In the second incident, witnesses told Radio-Canada, CBC’s French-language service, that the horse pulling the second carriage tripped and fell on the ground.

The family riding in the carriage at the time was unharmed.

Neither horse was injured, but they were given Sunday off to recover from the incidents.

Wow. A whole Sunday off.

But how do you regulate accidents from happening? You cannot. It is proven that horse drawn carriages must be banned from operating in high traffic areas because horses spook and run causing mayhem potentially injuring themselves and others, possibly even death.

* A calèche is a two-wheeled one-horse vehicle with a seat for the driver on the splashboard.

NYC carriage horse stable argues that bare, cramped, filthy stalls are not animal abuse

NEW YORK, N.Y. (Carriage Horses) — There are already many valid reasons and obvious examples why we must rid U.S. cities of the horse drawn carriage trade.

Not that we need another example, but here is yet another one, this time in New York City, which clearly demonstrates that it needs to put an end to its horse drawn carriage business.

The New York Post filed the following image and report on June 1, 2017:

A worried city building inspector snapped a photo of a carriage horse inside her “filthy” stall on Manhattan’s West Side — but the stable owners insist that the huge pile of manure is simply what the animal would produce in four-to-six hours.


The inspector — who is asking not to be named — is claiming animal abuse.

“The stable is filthy. It’s tiny. The horse almost can’t even stand up in there,” the outraged whistle-blower told The Post.

The inspector stumbled on the stinky stall on May 17 while checking the conditions of the building structure at Westside Livery Stables, Inc., on West 38th Street.

He was not there to assess the sanitary or health conditions of the horses, which is done by the Health Department.

But the inspector said he felt compelled to take a cellphone snapshot when he saw the conditions.

“The stable looked like it hadn’t been cleaned in years. It got so crammed up that the horse would have a hard time getting up,” he said.

The inspector said the horse was also lying on a hard floor with little hay for cushion.

But a rep for the stable gave a resounding “Neigh” to any abuse claims.

“I dare say whoever took this picture and thought there was something `wrong’ with it is not a horse person, nor were they interested in learning from someone here at the stable who is,” said Christina Hansen, a spokeswoman for the stables who examined the photo.

“This is a totally normal horse stall, prior to mucking by one of our stablemen, most likely in the morning. Sophia the horse here is shown comfortably lying down in her 9’ x 10’ box stall,” she said.

Horse sh*t. Hansen is delusional. None of what we can see in the picture filed with this report is normal or fitting. Poor Sophia looks anything but comfortable. She looks miserable.

Anyone who thinks that this an acceptable way to care for horses should be banned from having them in their control. This is animal abuse. Sophia is virtually lying on bare concrete next to piles of feces, and no doubt urine too.

PIX 11 News reports that the activist group NYCLASS gathered outside the West 38th Street stables the following day, June 2, to protest the conditions the horses are kept in. The group says it “hopes” for a “one-on-one meeting with the Department of Health to discuss ways to improve the overall quality of life of carriage horses”.

I know they mean well, but that sounds like even more horse sh*t.

New York City needs to clean up its act and rid itself of its cruel and outdated carriage horse trade. This insidious business is never going to treat its horses well because the people in it are not only totally out of touch with a horse’s most basic needs but totally uninterested.

What horrifies us in this case is clearly business as usual to the folks at Westside Livery Stables.  They see nothing that needs changing. Worse still, it appears they think they are doing a good job!

How about some arrests and fines or citations for the abuses these people are committing?

If the Health Department conduct inspections that means they have guidelines. Are there no penalties when people fail to adhere to Health Department standards?

In the meantime, we thank the inspector who reported the sad conditions Sophia is living in. It took courage. It has been our experience over the years that there are plenty of people who work in the carriage horse industry who are ruffians and bullies. They are also often retaliatory and prone to violence.

West Side Livery Stable (left) in Hell's Kitchen has been stabling horses for over 150 years. Time for a change don't you think? Google search result. Unattributed image.
West Side Livery Stable (left) in Hell’s Kitchen has been stabling horses for over 150 years. Time for a change don’t you think? Google search result. Unattributed image.

We are investigating what action we can take on behalf of carriage horses in cities and circumstances like these in New York. Attempts to reform the horse drawn carriage industry to improved the lives of the horses over the past 15 years has failed.

Please help. Share your thoughts and ideas. Let’s bring an end to this once and for all.

Last updated 6/3/17 7:33 pm EST.

Spooked Charleston, SC carriage horse tosses driver, runs into car

CHARLESTON, S.C. — What in blue blazes is going on in Charleston, S.C.? Here is yet another horror story involving a carriage horse. The carriage horse in question is from none other than repeat offender Charleston Carriage Works.

Andrew Knapp of the Post and Courier (who did not publish photographs of the horse involved in this accident) reports:

A runaway carriage horse tossed [his] driver to the ground before crashing into a car in downtown Charleston on Thursday, a week after another animal was spooked by a woman posing as a Tyrannosaurus rex.

Luke, the horse, suffered two minor scratches on his chest and a back leg. He was taken back to his barn.

What scared the horse wasn’t immediately known.

A passenger tried to grab the reins but could reach only one of them.

“I pulled on the rein, but Luke didn’t stop,” the passenger wrote in a statement.

The horse turned into a gravel lot and hit a parked car. He stopped there. Other carriage workers controlled him, the report added.

That ended Luke’s workday. He was examined by a veterinarian before returning to the street. Read full story »

This is not just a spell of bad luck. This is about mismanagement and an obvious total lack of care about the horses they use.

On January 18, 2017, Dave Munday of the Courier Post reported that one carriage horse backed into car and another dropped to his knees in Charleston.

On April 19, 2017, Munday reported that a carriage horse tripped and fell at Meeting and Hasell streets.

The horse was attached to a carriage with about a dozen passengers and didn’t try to get up until the harness was removed, according to Dan Riccio, the city’s livability and tourism director. The horse (pictured below) is named Big John and is owned by Charleston Carriage Works.

A carriage horse tripped and fell at Meeting and Hasell streets Wednesday afternoon, April 19, 2017. The horse was attached to a carriage with about a dozen passengers and didn't try to get up until the harness was removed, according to Dan Riccio, the city's livability and tourism director. The horse is named Big John and is owned by Charleston Carriage Works. Photo: Ellen Harley.
Photo: Ellen Harley.

Here are a few more Charleston, S.C. horse drawn carriage incidents outlined in a Post and Courier article from July 16, 2015, reporting on the collapse of Blondie, seen in this post’s featured image up top:

In June 2014, a horse pulling a Charleston Carriage Works carriage along Limehouse Street got scared and careened into 150 Tradd St., gouging the side of the house and throwing two of the five passengers to the ground.

In April of the same year, a horse pulling a carriage took off running with three passengers in tow down Anson Street before crashing into the City Market. No one was injured, although video released by the police department shows the passengers clinging to their seats. It was not known what caused the horse to take off running.

In January 2008, a carriage horse bolted on South Battery. The horse took off running after the carriage hit a curb and overturned. Six of the 13 passengers were taken to hospitals for treatment and released the same day.

In an August 8, 2015 article The Paulick Report stated that “The city of Charleston’s Tourism Department had had 18 carriage horse incidents reported since 2012”.

Clearly . . . clearly, horses and traffic do not mix, especially horses attached to a carriage full of people where they feel trapped and vulnerable and likely to panic and make a run for it when they feel in danger.

So when are they going to shut the carriage horse business down in Charleston? Not, it seems, until horse lovers like us make enough noise about it — or until they maim or kill someone. Speaking of which . . .

Taking action can lead to victories for carriage horses. Example. Salt Lake City voted unanimously to pass a ban on horse-drawn carriages in 2014, a year after a horse named Jerry, who had been pulling a carriage in 98-degree heat, collapsed in the street and later died.

Crews try to get carriage horse Jerry to his feet. The carriage company that owned Jerry forced him to spend his days hauling tourists through dangerous, congested streets in the scorching Salt Lake City heat. He finally collapsed in 98 degree heat and was unable to get up. He had to be dragged into a trailer and hauled back to the barn. After months of hiding it, Peta exposed that Jerry had actually died shortly thereafter. Image source: Peta.
Crews try to get carriage horse Jerry to his feet. The carriage company that owned Jerry forced him to spend his days hauling tourists through dangerous, congested streets in the scorching Salt Lake City heat. Jerry finally collapsed in 98 degree weather and unable to get up.  So they tied ropes around him, dragged him into a trailer, hauled him back to his barn, and hoisted him inside with a forklift.  After months of hiding it, Peta exposed that Jerry had actually died not long after this picture was taken. Image source: Peta.

Take Action

What happened to Jerry need never happen to another horse used by this callous and deadly industry.

So far we have signed petitions and complained to the City’s mayor who appears to be non-responsive. Let’s complain to him again. Contact information below.

This time let’s add the City of Charleston’s Department of Livability and Tourism. Tell them (if you truly feel that way) that this disgusting business with Charleston’s carriage horses has killed any idea you have of ever spending any time or money there. Ask them why don’t they get rid of this dangerous and archaic way of carrying tourists around.

Interestingly, part of the Department’s job description from their website reads, “Tourism Enforcement officers enforce ordinances applicable to horse drawn carriages . . .”  Well, they seem to be on the scene of many of these accidents. How in the world can they continue to treat these incidents as business as usual with no apparent care for the horses or the passengers?

CONTACT THE DEPT OF LIVABILITY AND TOURISM
Dan Riccio, Director
Email: ricciod@charleston-sc.gov
Ph: 843-805-3226; Fx: 843-579-7673

Now we’ve taken care of tourism, let’s move on to the Mayor who certainly has the power to shut down the carriage horse trade down and replace it with something safer, modern and more fun.

CONTACT THE MAYOR
John J. Tecklenburg, Mayor
Email: tecklenburgj@charleston-sc.gov
Ph: 843-577-6970

Please be polite. No name calling. Get all that out of your system before you contact anyone. Thank you!

On Twitter, for higher visibility, use only two hashtags. Here are some you can use:  #charleston, #horses, #citycharleston, #postandcourier. Tweet the Mayor @JohnTecklenburg.

If you are a resident of Charleston, S.C. please contact your City councilmember and ask them to act now to ban the horse drawn carriage trade. If they are unresponsive, remember this come election time and vote them out.

Related Reading

• Woman who petitioned on behalf of collapsed Charleston, S.C. carriage horse threatened | May 12, 2017

• Will you sign a Petition to help Big John the downed Charleston carriage horse? | May 1, 2017

• Two Change.org Petitions, both for Carolina carriage horses | July 21, 2016

• Charleston horse drawn carriage accident prompts renewed call for a ban | June 21, 2014

Featured Image

On July 16, 2015, an Old South Carriage Co. horse named Blondie went down about 10 a.m. on East Bay Street at North Adger’s Wharf. A noise from a cement truck made the horse jump, causing the carriage to jackknife and the horse to sit down and then collapse on his side. It was the latest in a growing list of incidents of carriage horse mishaps. Image Credit: Post and Courier.