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 »


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.

Runaway carriage horse slams into taxi in heart of Manhattan

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 21: A carriage horse trots near Central Park on April 21, 2014 in New York City. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, made a campaign pledge to ban carriages in Central Park. As the horse carriage industry, which mainly takes tourists through the park, has come under criticism from animal welfare agencies, many New Yorkers are voicing their support for the horses and drivers. On Saturday animal welfare activists protested in front of actor Liam Neeson's home after he wrote a newspaper piece in support of the carriage horses. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

MANHATTAN, NYC — It is almost unbelievable the way yesterday’s runaway carriage horse incident is being reported. Not so much factually as spiritually.

UPDATE. March 16, 2017, 1:55 pm EST. Via PIX 11 News, New York.

An out-of-control horse backpedalled in the middle of a midtown street during the Monday morning rush, authorities said.

Two horses were being taken from a nearby stable to Central Park, where they give carriage rides. It was near Eighth Avenue and 55th Street that one of the horses became startled.  Read more, view video story »


Here is what was commonly reported.

A carriage horse bolted on the streets of Midtown Monday morning galloping through several streets before slamming into a yellow cab.

The horse’s head ended up against the taxi with one of his hooves jammed under the front left wheel.

Unattributed image posted by The Daily Mail.
Unattributed image posted by The Daily Mail.

The horse had not been pulling a carriage at the time he broke free and ran away. Witnesses say they believe he escaped from the place where he was being kept.

The runaway horse was checked over at the scene of the accident and said to “look okay”.

That was it. Checked over. Looked okay. Nothing about having a licensed veterinarian taking a look at the horse. I suppose with complaints now flowing in they will say they did that once they got him back to the garage, ahem … I mean, stable.

Speaking of getting the horse back to where he was kept, how about this?

They did not walk the runaway horse gently back to his multi story parking garage type stable. Nor did they call for a vehicle to transport him there as in other carriage horse accidents (the horse’s accommodation was assumed but not verified as being close by).

They saddled him up to be ridden back to his claustrophobic digs.  Perhaps this is what motivated our runaway horse to escape in the first place —  to taste a just bit of momentary freedom.

The above is a summation from what various news outlets are reporting in common on this story.

Horse Drawn Carriage Trade

There is nothing natural about the conditions carriage horses live and work in, particularly in cities like Manhattan. More often than not these conditions are mentally and physically cruel. What more do you need to know?

We love what one protester wrote on her placard a few years ago: “It’s 2014, Not 1814”.

Take Action

Contact Mayor DeBlasio whether you live in New York or not — but especially if you live there — and complain about carriage horse abuse and practices and challenge him to at long last fulfill his election campaign promise to ban it. No more excuses, such as in 2015 when DeBlasio blamed the NY City Council for his failure. Sorry Mr. Mayor. No sale.

Think about what you want to say and send the Mayor of New York City a letter, an online message or telephone his office to have your important say.

Contact Information

Mayor Bill de Blasio
City Hall
New York, NY 10007

Online message form.

Telephone number: 212-504-4115.

Just Like Oreo

How we wish a star like Jon Stewart would step in and save this runaway horse. This horse reminds us of former NYC carriage horse Oreo who also escaped,  but he ended up in greener pastures. Read about Oreo here.

Related Reading

Daily Mail; James Gordon, May 15, 2017.

Their Turn. See to learn more.

Group Protests Horse-Drawn Carriages Outside Gracie Mansion. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Woman who petitioned on behalf of collapsed Charleston, S.C. carriage horse threatened

Big John, downed Charleston SC carriage horse. USA Today.

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.

Caitlin S

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



Will you sign a Petition to help Big John the downed Charleston carriage horse?

Big John, downed Charleston SC carriage horse. USA Today.

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Hello, I know it’s Monday and the start of another work week for so many of us.

Whatever you are doing, will you please take a moment to sign a Petition urging Charleston Carriage Works to retire Big John the downed carriage horse? (pictured above, read full story at USA Today)

I did.  I urge you to sign it too, and write from the heart. The Petition states:

Big John is a 22+ year old Belgian Draft who works for the owners of Charleston Carriage Works. He is considered a senior, yet still pulls carts day in and day out for visitors of downtown Charleston. As most are aware, Big John was filmed lying flat out on the pavement about a week ago. Evidence points to exhaustion but the owners are saying he tripped and fell. The summer is approaching and this is the roughest time of year for these carriage horses.

Rancho Relaxo is a 501c3 nonprofit animal rescue in New Jersey who focuses on saving slaughterbound horses as well as helping with the retirement of work horses. This is one of many causes that Rancho Relaxo is passionate about.

Today, Rancho Relaxo has opened their hearts and barn doors to Big John. They are offering a beautiful and safe place for him to retire.

• If you need to see the video go to the USA Today article here »

• Go here to sign the Petition »

Alisha R. who signed the Petition added:

I spoke to a Charleston carriage driver who told me a horse collapsed and they have been getting harassed by people ever since. Later I find out there have been at least 3 in the last week. I always thought of these horses as working in harsh conditions because of the heat index alone. I agree, they need to be off these streets.

Charleston carriage horses collapsing seem to be a common occurrence.

July 2015. A 12 year old carriage horse named Blondie falls on a busy downtown Charleston street after a truck spooked him. He did not collapse from the heat asoriginally thought although it was already 84 degrees at 10 a.m. There were nine adults and a child on the carriage when the incident occurred. Blondie's accident left him on the pavement for nearly two hours before a crane was finally pull him to a standing position. Source: Post and Courier.
July 2015. A 12 year old carriage horse named Blondie falls on a busy downtown Charleston street after a truck spooked him. He did not collapse from the heat asoriginally thought although it was already 84 degrees at 10 a.m. There were nine adults and a child on the carriage when the incident occurred. Blondie’s accident left him on the pavement for nearly two hours before a crane was finally pull him to a standing position. Source: Post and Courier.

Support the Petition on Twitter. Tweet  something like this to get the Petition more attention. We shortened the Petition link too. See it in our example below:

I signed the Petition. Please retire Big John #charleston #bigjohn #@Live5News

In the meantime, check out the media poll results below.

Big John collapses. USA Today.

Last updated: 11:43 a.m.