Charleston carriage horses

Are Charleston Carriage Horses Safe?

A carriage horse ran wild through The Market in Charleston, SC.

Heavy machinery has been spooking carriage horses in downtown Charleston, S.C., incident reports show.

The city of Charleston's Tourism Department had had 18 carriage horse incidents reported since 2012. Three of the incidents involved carriages and heavy equipment; there is more equipment present as construction on the peninsula has increased in the last few years.

On July 17, a carriage horse named Blondie startled at a cement mixer, backed up and fell while still hitched to the carriage. It took over two hours, a vet and a forklift to get Blondie back on his feet.

It's also reported that two other horses were scared by equipment and fell before Blondie's incident. The 18 reports were provided by both the police and carriage companies. Carriage companies are required to report any incident that results in injury or property damage, but while some police reports noted either injury or property damage, there was no accompanying reports filed by the carriage company involved. There is no explanation for this lack of documentation. These reports are required to be saved by the Records Management Division for three years.

The Charleston Animal Society has called for a panel to review how carriage horses are treated; the mayor of Charleston, Joe Riley, approved the study. Part of this review will focus on carriage horses and downtown traffic, including construction work.

Residents have been concerned about carriage horses and downtown vehicle traffic for years.

Read more in the Post and Courier. 

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