Charleston carriage horse Big John ‘stumbled and fell’

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On Wednesday, a Charleston, South Carolina carriage horse turned a corner onto Meeting Street and fell to the pavement as he was pulling a carriage with passengers. The official report from the City of Charleston’s Department of Livability and Tourism, says the horse “stumbled and fell” to the pavement.

“At approximately 323 Meeting Street the horse stumbled and fell to the pavement. A large strap from the harness was used to lift the horse so it could get its rear legs under its body and Big John stood up on all fours,” the report read.

According to Live5News, the report detailed how the Charleston Carriage Works driver called the company’s barn for help while passengers were safely escorted off of the carriage. Big John had fallen on his right side, and barn hands helped to release him from his harness and tack equipment. Carriage horses are trained to stay still until they are safely able to rise so as not to get entangled in the equipment.

Firefighters from the nearby Meeting Street Fire Station also helped lift the horse to free it from the entanglement, at which point the horse sat up on its rump. The entire incident lasted 11 minutes and the horse was walked back to the barn; high school students pushed the carriage back. It has been confirmed it was the horse’s first tour of the day.

“He wasn’t tired, didn’t collapse, wasn’t hot – simply tripped, which happens from time to time (to all of us),” Broderick Christoff, the company spokesperson reported.

The horse was examined by the vet and cleared to return to work although he did suffer some minor abrasions on his rear left hock and right front elbow which were both treated. A subsequent report stated the horse was given a “trot” test recorded on video, and he showed no signs of lameness.

Animal rights activists have continued to question what happened, with one woman stating had Big John just tripped, he would have immediately risen, but in this case she claimed he was down for a half-hour. Charleston has recently passed  new horse carriage heat rules requiring carriage horses be removed from service if temperatures exceed 95 degrees. On Wednesday, the temperatures were in the 80s.

On Facebook, the Charleston Animal Society posted a witness’ video documenting the horse’s ordeal.

 “It is time for an independent, scientific, peer-reviewed study to determine if Big John and other horses are truly working in a safe and humane environment. Charleston Animal Society, Pet Helpers and several other local and national animal welfare organizations want to see a study conducted.”

The video can be viewed here:

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107 replies
    • Glenda Free says:

      it is animal abuse!!!! I’m in Charleston a lot, visiting family……they pile as many people in carriage as they can!!!! I have stopped and petted ” Big John “……a beautiful, wonderful horse!!! Stop these carriage rides !!!!!!!!

      Reply
      • Agg says:

        If he’s on a level smooth hard surface it is not abuse, and he can easily pull them. He’s a draft horse. Abuse is listening to you and having this poor horse slaughtered instead!

      • Big John Lover says:

        Draft horses can pull up to six times their weight, but they usually only reach about 25% of that weight limit when they are pulling a carriage FULL of people (you can find this information on Charleston’s website https://palmettocarriage.com/faqs-on-animal-care/ ). Draft horses were used for centuries to pull heavy plows across fields reaching maximum temperatures; it’s what horses like Big John are meant for. Also, Charleston has the best regulations for carriage horses to keep them safe and healthy. So please educate before crying abuse!

  1. Red says:

    IT IS NOT HUMANE……………. No matter what your reviews and research say!! Put these dang tourists in automated carts and release these beautiful horses to a sanctuary to be free and walk and run as they choose!!! PLAY LIKE YOU HAVE A HEART IN YOU and NOT JUST A WALLET !

    Reply
    • Kristi says:

      Where is this sanctuary you dream of? These beautiful animals will go to slaughter. I house 4 rescued pasture ornaments on 8 acres to keep them from slaughter, where are you going to put yours? 150,000 horses go to slaughter each year! Even The BLM is considering sending our nations living legends, our wild horses of the west, to slaughter. Please announce the opening of your sanctuary that will house all these animals.

      Reply
      • ellen cottone says:

        Run free Red?
        in the end he will be transported to mexico or canada where he will be tied by one leg a steel trap door will be released he will drop and hange histerical and someone steps in and slits his throat. then they let him bleed out all the while infront of other animals. So by all means Red lets stop carrage rides in the big old cities so we can dog meat this “working” city citizen.

        Your image of clysdales running free is histerical as well as annoying. how utterly clueless the typical american is to horses.

        But here is something you can do to change things that utterly disgust you. Because i can see you have a big heart. and cant stand another min. of it.
        There Is a petition going around to stop Walmart and a few other american corps. to stop buying meat from inhumain steeltrap door slaughter.we are going to shut down trade from the countries who are relentless in gaining profit while employing murderers and perverts and animal torcherers in the mitts of these back wood kill for joy, slaughter houses.get on bord, Your country America wont have it here.thank you to all the people who stepped up.

        Red, And anyone who cares about the treatment of slaughter animals should put your feelings about it on paper and send. walmart will buckle. this is the only cure for the immiges we both have to live with. Its the least we can do. is act like we hate it and spread the word.
        And if this new animal and wildlife hating president means to lift bans out lawing this technology in this country, for profit or lifts protection bans on anymore animal and enviormental protections then god help us. it will be american civil war 2

    • Agg says:

      NO ONE wants to tour in an idiot cart. They are there for the horse. If the horse does not work, he gets slaughtered in a horrible fashion. Don’t drink the corrupt propaganda Kool-aid. In NYC, Mayor DeBlasio’s primary donation source is the Storage Unit King, and he wants the stables (that happen to be on now very hot property) to turn into prime real estate cash flow. The bastards carrying on about the “poor horses” don’t give a rat’s ass about the horses.

      Reply
      • ellen cottone says:

        screw those guys. i hate king , that trump flunky. they are selling off pieces of nyc holylands right out from “we the people” by “right of our birth”. We blood long new yorkers have to sit and watch this happen. Selling off and selling us out.
        All because a bunch of dumb asses gave him the keys to the country and allowes him to rampage the place and steal us blind..

      • Sue says:

        The horse cart drivers don’t care about the horses. When they are done using them, they are sold to slaughter, anyway. The whole concept of “using” needs to be overturned.

    • Sue says:

      Interestinglly, everyone involved, either directly or indirectly, with any form of animal exploitation offers the same defense. When denying the hanging, kicking, etc. of police K9’s doesn’t work, because video has been obtained, the handlers trot out the justifications (“he was bred for that – he’s used to it). Vivisectors invited the media into their labs at UCLA several years ago to “prove” that the lab animals are not tortured, but instead well loved and cared for. Activists kicked down the door to the cat lab, exposing the truth. And so, on it goes:

      Horse Drawn Carriages | Animal Welfare Institute
      awionline.org › content › urban-carriage-horses-out-step…

      Police officers’ written report on Plaza carriage horse crash
      fox4kc.com/2016/12/08/…write-up-report-on-plaza-carriage-horse-crash

      “We were going down a hill and the carriage might have been pushing on it and it was trying to run to get the carriage off of it,” Baldwin said.

      Edie Falco And Last Chance For Animals Reveal Hidden Lives …
      Thestreet › story › 13370027 › … › edie-falco-and-last…

      Cruel and Inhumane Horse Drawn Carriages
      nyclass.org › horse_drawn_carriages

      CARRIAGE HORSE STABLES, NEGLECT AND ANIMAL CRUELTY – NYC
      carriagehorsesnyc.blogspot › 2013 › 12 › carriage-horse-stables…

      Carriage Horse Accidents – Coalition to Ban Horse Drawn …
      banhdc.org › ch-acc.shtml

      Reply
      • Sue says:

        My comment above was in reply to Big John Lover (that moniker in itself is a joke). There was no reply button after Big John Lover’s comment, so I went to the nearest one on top to leave my response. How it ended up in this section, I don’t know, but there should be a re-vamp of the comments section so that replies to comments can end up where they are supposed to.

  2. Angela Corso says:

    I absolutely agree on this study. I do not think these horses should be working in large cities, small cities pulling people. Based on the size of the average person, these horses are required to pull a lot more weight compared to humans 20 years ago. It’s time to study these types of animal jobs.

    Reply
  3. debor33 says:

    I hope PETA shuts these people down….to say a horse can pull a carriage as long as it’s under 95 degrees….that is way too hot….Big John has a fur coat & then equipped with all that heavy equipment and pull God knows how many people? Did you see how many people got off…..then I bet they loaded him right back up after he fell….PETA, go get them….this needs to stop.

    Reply
    • Dez Tinee says:

      You didn’t read the entire article then? Missed the bit about him being led back to the stable and vet checked and the carriage being pushed back by students?

      Reply
      • Sue says:

        It doesn’t matter whether he was led back to the “stable.” Horses should not be walking around on cement in the middle of traffic – PERIOD.

        There is a lot of abuse behind the scenes wherever animals are exploited for people’s profit, gain, amusement, or whatever.

      • Mary says:

        Sue I guess you missed the part where they have special shoes on that would be like nikes to us! The ignorance of some people is mind boggling. So i guess its better for them too go straight to slaughter? And where are these magical fields of endless grass that they can go to if they dont work? Do some research like I did. Big John only works part time and in his down time he spends his days out in the pasture grazing. The public is invited to their stables so you can see for yourself that their taken care of! SMH

      • Sue says:

        Where is the moderator? Calling people names (i.e. “Nutjob” ) is rude and inappropriate. Adults are increasingly behaving, and speaking, and writing, like juveniles.

      • Sue says:

        Mary – re: Sue I guess you missed the part where they have special shoes on that would be like nikes to us!

        And, so, that is why this approximately one ton horse fell down on cement. And he is not the first, by far.

    • Agg says:

      Then they will be slaughtered in a horrible fashion. They need to pay their bills — because you certainly aren’t supporting them!

      Reply
  4. jeanette says:

    the horse was tired and probably overworked it may be 80 but back east the humidity is bad. I had a horse for 17 years and sometimes he would trip, not all the way and he would get his feet together, so he wouldn’t fall.

    Reply
    • Mary says:

      After a little research I found that Big John was on his first tour that day and he only works part time. They also have special shoes on that make it easier for them to tolerate walking on the pavement. Visit their website and see for yourself, the public is invited to visit the stables and see where the horses live and how they are cared for. They have a team of care takers and are loved. Yes they do work but they also live in this climate everyday and they are out in the sun all the time. since you have had a horse you know they love being outside in their natural habitat. I have three rescues that I had a very hard time leaving outside and wanted to stable them instead with fans because I live in FL and they were miserable kinda like Jail I would imagine so now I only bring mine in to groom. Their happy spending their days grazing……mine are three very fortunate horses though bc not many can afford to feed and care for even one horse. Im thankful Big John has a good home even if he has to work part time.

      Reply
      • ellen cottone says:

        its not work to him. he enjoys being part of the happs. its fun and adventure to him . dogs may be pack animals but horses are team animals. what civilization did not work along side horses. they work as a team with man.in his working he is affording his own keep and keeping the carrage industry alive and well. unlike most animal experiances people who work closly with horses are a special group of people and love and protect horses. i wish it was true with other animal professionals. its not always true.

  5. Vickie Hitch says:

    Trip my arse. He is tired. That is why he was laying down. They get overworked and tired. Carrying that many people. The vehicles heat rises up. The exhaust. Gee people think.

    Reply
    • ellen cottone says:

      horses never lie down silly they actally sleep standing up. they arnt carrying people silly the wheels roll the weight . You are adorable.

      Reply
      • Yep says:

        So can you explain to me why my horse will lay down and sleep in the sun on a beautiful day? He is retired and living his days out in a beautiful pasture.

        Horses can sleep standing up, but let me tell you they love to layout on their side line a dog and sleep.

      • ellen cottone says:

        Yep!,
        YEP.
        I do believe he is a retired gentelmen layin sun side up for ultimate ray soaking effect. i wish i was your horse.
        because this is the promis we at least originally make to our horse brethren. to live and work along side and eventally put out to pasture to live out our days,
        worry free. you could not betray a friend. for meat money.

      • ellen cottone says:

        Dear V. S.,
        You are right. That i had to look up. but i thought like an elephant that they crush their organs.
        Incidentally and sorry for the imagery..
        but last thanksgiving, me and my parents were going to my ants house for the day. at 7:00am we come up a hill and we are faceing Knox Acadamys corral, a horse was laying on its side legs sticking out like a toy, still as hell with another horse with its muzzle about a foot away from his muzzle.
        clearly i am still haunted by the image. was he dead or is he in a deep rem state, technacally the only normal reason a horse can lie down? it was a slow drive by and im the only one who saw it. It had a almost whimsey effect to it like the standing horse was saying…wake up , your face down on the lawn, again. care to chime in on that one?

      • Mary says:

        Thats interesting because theres 13 horses where mine are and I have seen all of them lay down for 30 -45 minutes and my vet also said they can lay down for periods of time…..

      • ellen cottone says:

        Oh, i know what im talking about…
        And I know what I saw.
        And whats it to you?
        really?

      • ellen cottone says:

        vs horses do not laydown it is not common if a horse is laying down hes sick or dying. no shady area You dont know what the hell your talking about. You are not a horse man. I have been one since i was four.and a NYS Licenced Trainer by the time i was 18.Dont wast your time with your Reserch.
        You have to know something about life outside your trailor.
        You do not.your here to pick a fight over de blasio and to generally take your anger out on strangers.

      • ellen cottone says:

        very short periods of time during rem state sleep. or they risk crushing internial organs

      • ellen cottone says:

        no. Its not abuse.
        this animal has a job, this animal has Medical Insurance, this animal has its own groom and massuse. This animal commutes to the city and has weekends off and sleeps late.
        This animal is monitured from agencies for and against livery animals. but none of them are able to close them down. Because its not inhumane.

        Horses were not ment to work on pavement or concreat but they do. because of forged custom iron horse shoes. Some times its sleepery and its wipe out city. But tell that to horses who were the technology of the time from colonial times to the 1900 like it or not horses were the landscape in american city life.just sayin, its not out of nowhere its just the last hold out.

    • Delilah says:

      No this is not abuse. An abused horse would be acting stressed, limping, or have open sores. Carriage horses are trained to stay where they are if they tangle or fall. All it takes is oil on the blacktop and his shoe can slip.

      Reply
      • Sue says:

        Oh yes, Delilah, it is abuse. And you just named one of the many reasons why. Horses should not be falling on cement, or being subjected to the many other cruel and unnatural elements they are made to face daily. They are often driven in freezing cold and sweltering heat, and so much more. The idea that they are just here to be used by us is repulsive, and the arguments used to defend it are pitifully transparent.

      • ellen cottone says:

        sue they are not working in sweltering heat and they spend the winter in florida. like all the other rock stares. but i do apreciat what you are trying to say. but a horse is not a dog. you have to know horse world alittle better to be a wistle blower and advocate. dont stop the goodness and care. All hooved creatures in the u.s.a. are in deep trouble. a major trump backer from texas. an oli chain mug (luke, oil)
        has planes to introduce horse meat for human consumptiom.yes its freak out time. maybe you should get involved. were not having it

  6. Cynthia Como says:

    I think it’s cruel and scary for the horse to be riding thru city traffic. I wish this practice would be banned!

    Reply
    • Agg says:

      They do quite fine. There was a famous series of photos years ago when a jerk in a little red sports car cut ahead of a NYC carriage horse at a stoplight. The horse stuck his head inside the car window, and when the light changed, that car let that horse go first.

      What did the horse say to the driver? What any NYC driver would say to a clueless punk.

      Reply
      • Sue says:

        No, they do not do “quite fine.” And “what did horse say to the driver?…” Horses don’t talk, either.

      • Barkley's Mom says:

        I’m amazed, I’m surprised the guy in the little red sports car didn’t take the horses head off.I know how NYC drivers drive.

      • ellen cottone says:

        Im afraid they do speak sue.especially animals that work closly with or around people.they are assimalated city citizans with rights. they also know order and fairness.
        they also know a jerk when they see one.
        shame on you

  7. Nancy Raymond says:

    I really don’t care HOW it happened – it is another viable reason to ban these horse carriages from the streets.

    Reply
    • V. S. Baird says:

      Darla, look at his feet. He has padded shoes on. What were horses meant for anyway? Certainly not dog food. This horse is extremely healthy, and well cared for.

      Reply
      • ellen cottone says:

        oh my god vs your like a moron.
        There called friggin horse shoes. He has his own black smith who forges a steel horse shoe Custom to protect his nail like hoof. all horses have these shoes if they walk on grass or concreat. they are steal sometimes they slip. End of mystery.city horses whipe out sometimes ask any NYC mounted policmen.. And trust me his cargo of people in the carrage are frozen in fear and waiting for instruction. Anyone can see they are concerned.

      • ellen cottone says:

        the concerned and still kids in the cart awaiting instruction from the driver are the kids who musled up for the horse and thru the hot of charlston day pushed the cart back them selves, back to the station. Just thought youd like to get into their head that day. During that crazy turn of events for a bunch of kids. Bunch of young Gentle men. awsome

  8. Lori Kain says:

    The days for carriage rides in the city areas is long gone. Too much traffic and other crap now involved and the safety of the horses is much more at play now then ever before.

    Reply
  9. Anne says:

    Unfortunately these kinds of videos,…when shared in a vacuum…can often be inaccurately interpreted. As a passionate horse enthusiast and owner for more than 50 years, I’d like to make just a few statements. First, just like humans…horses are subject to aneurysms, heart attacks, etc. Not from abuse…but because they have heart defects, etc just like people do. Thankfully, in following this story, it does not appear that this horse suffered a potentially fatal incident such as the above. Secondly, as an advocate of humane treatment of all animals and an extreme advocate for equines…I have personally visited a number of the carriage companies’ facilities in Charleston. Here’s what I saw…well fed, watered and well groomed horses with meticulously clean, cool stalls…multiple people keeping watch over them to ensure their safety. The carriage horses that I have observed are naturally friendly and curious (another sign that they have not been mistreated by people) These horses are rotated in and out of work…i.e. like people who work at jobs…they are provided days off and then vacations – or weeks off where they return to their farm and pastures for extended rest breaks. While it may seem cruel to those who have never worked with or bonded with horses, horses actually like to have a “job” and having a job helps horses stay both physically and mentally healthy…again, a lot like people. Furthermore, (and sadly) horses who lose their jobs end up in auctions where they are often purchased by “kill buyers” who pack them into trucks, ship them to Mexico or Canada where they are slaughtered in the most cruel and inhumane way imaginable…..that is if they are not trampled to death in the truck or dead of heat stroke on the way to Mexico or Canada. Sadly there is likely not a “happily ever after” retirement home for all the carriage horses in the US to go to after PETA or other such organizations shut down the businesses that employ these horses. Some may be able to be re-homed…but face it – it is expensive to keep a 2000 pound animal…food, land, vet bills….as a hobby…..especially 100s of them. When the carriage companies are shut down..I fear that the majority of these horses will ultimately find themselves on that hell truck to Mexico or Canada. Same thing happens to many of the racehorses on the local and regional tracks my friends…. So, rather than get on a mission to shut carriage companies down….get on a mission to ensure that the care of these horses is appropriately regulated and that city drivers who behave stupidly in zones where carriage horses are used….are penalized and arrested. Then let’s us animal advocates go after people who starve and beat horses mercilessly….and put them in jail

    Reply
    • L says:

      100% agree. I can not speak for NYC horses or big citys (I actually do think NYC streets are not the place with all the noise/traffic etc) I also adore all animals dearly but from what I’ve seen/know about the ones in Charleston, there’s tons of regulations for these horses. They take breaks very regularly and actually have each horse registered and timed/charted each and EVERY time they go out and on what route etc. They always seem to have plenty of water/food/shade everywhere for them. There are so many neglected animals that need help who are actually being harmed and suffering, these animals are healthy and well taken care of. I’ve also seen the curiosity and personality of many of these animals en route as they seem to actually enjoy their stroll, even goof off at times (not afraid of a beating or meaninglessly walking). If you’ve never been/seen, people please don’t judge. Keep in mind a lot of the “horses” used are actually mules as well and ment to “haul” larger loads than the horses. (Not that half the people judging know the difference) I appreciate your willingness to speak up Anne!!

      Even though I know all this, like everyone my heart still melts when I see the photos/video of the horse down. I actually cringed in the video when the HUMAN trying to help kicks the horse in the face (accidentally of course) and it jumps like what the hell dude. A kid falls…. it’s sad he/she’s hurt but that doesn’t mean its abuse.

      Social media and people jumping on every bandwagon they can without any understanding of the actual situation shows how ignorante we’re all becoming. Now….. if the facts later change, this situation needs to be addressed ASAP no question.

      Reply
    • Sue says:

      Show me the sanctuary where these horses go when they can no longer pull cabs on cement. LCA investigated and found this:

      “Forced to work nine hours a day, seven days a week in extreme weather conditions, the horses live a dismal nose-to-tailpipe existence until they are “retired” and sold off at auction – and often sent to Mexico or Canada for slaughter.”

      Reply
      • ellen cottone says:

        omg, nose to tail pipe. Is everything you say just utter bull shit sue?
        You will believe anything. Your a liability (Erp)

    • ellen cottone says:

      horses and dogs are workaholics, they are only happy when they have a job. all the animal behavior problems stem from these creatures be ing unemployed.
      we can empty kill shelters and create social and cultural needs for horses while creating human jobs , increasing our data base in human animal working behaviour opening up sympathy and compassion to our animal bretheren. The biggest scam in the history of man kind was that animals were to serve man with no rights.
      that is and was wrong. We can creat jobs, save animals, save money with the incredable free resorces we have around us and assuring happiness between animals and man.

      Reply
      • Sylvie Lee says:

        I have a question regarding the idea that animals like horses are only happy when employed. Is this actually true or something we believe because it makes us feel better about what is happening to animals globally?

        Before man, animals roamed the earth free. And I imagine they were quite content without man telling them how to be. Or are we assuming no animals roamed the earth without human beings?

        I believe freedom for animals and humans is truly what we all seek. This idea of work and employment to be happy is a slave mentality. It’s programming. Sit with the indigenous of this earth and talk to them about jobs, employment and happiness. They will laugh.

      • ellen cottone says:

        animals in the wild spend all their time looking for food. and hiding the other part of the time from being food.
        the indiginous dont have time to laugh they are too busy catching food the hard way, or growing food the hard way. both animals in the wild and indiginous are workaholics with a job.
        the job is survival and it aint pretty.

      • ellen cottone says:

        its unbelivable to me sue that you can see one intentionally negative video from a group of people who intend to land develop the stables and buy it as absolute fact.
        whould a video of a plane or car crash also make you not get on a plane or car?

        its unbelivable to me that people who allege to care about animals dont know a god dammed thing about the animal or its situation.
        you should do something about that.

    • ellen cottone says:

      looks like your jumping on the wrong band (horse drawn) wagon cat.
      When falling for and spreading propegander try and find the facts from both sides of the horse fence.
      Also you might be a bit more carful what fund raisers your seen walking out of.
      Try not to be wrong all the time and it pays to be in the know instead of an ignorant pawn in
      land (stealing) development.
      The first thing they will do is march all the horses and stable mates off to slaughter. Blood on your hands, cat!?
      Yes, by all means speak for the devil.and end carrage rides. Idiot.
      Suckker!

      Reply
      • Sue says:

        So, what you are saying is that all these horses, down on the cement, were instructed to lie down for a photo op – LOL. And, just completely overlook the facts presented in the article.

        I know Chris DeRose of LCA, and he has, on tape, drivers admitting to acts of cruelty. Look at the many police reports of collisions between motor vehicles and the horses.

        A blanket statement won’t cover for these abuses, or the suffering of the animals involved.

        So, those who are speaking for the devil are those who make excuses for the abuse of horses to further some other agenda.

  10. Samantha says:

    Absolutely abusive exploitation of this poor horse. Will the City of Charleston please do the right thing and save “Big John” from this cruel exploitation. He deserves to live out his days with dignity, respected and lovingly cared for at a horse sanctuary. Charleston Carriage Horse doesn’t sincerely care about his welfare. They’re lying and only care about the tourist dollar. By the looks of some of them, they need to take more walks. Maybe they can pull a carriage of tourists and work some of that fat off!!

    Reply
    • Agg says:

      Unless you are personally volunteering to support this horse for the rest of his days, don’t doom him to slaughter. Regulate him, but don’t “retire him upstate” – he’ll end up in Mexico as steaks.

      Reply
      • Sue says:

        The purpose of legislation to provide protection for these horses is not only to stop the cruel use of them, but to ensure that they will NOT be sold for slaughter, WHICH THEY CURRENTLY ARE, when they are no longer “useful.”

        Your statement strongly suggests that there is only one choice: Abuse on the streets vs. slaughtered for steaks. The fact is, they most often go TOGETHER. One follows the other.

        LCA investigated and found this:

        “Forced to work nine hours a day, seven days a week in extreme weather conditions, the horses live a dismal nose-to-tailpipe existence until they are “retired” and sold off at auction – and often sent to Mexico or Canada for slaughter.”

        So, there is some other hidden agenda to your defending this cruelty, and presenting an ultimatum which doesn’t really exist.

  11. Shauna says:

    I just found out about this today and am horrified. I’d like to know 1) how much did the horse weigh. 2) what was the weight he was pulling of all the people and carriage 3) what is the top weight a horse can legally pull in Chatleston. 4) how old was the horse? I have a hard time believing he tripped. Can you say “cover up?” And for someone to say the horses are taught to lie there until the harness is off, ya right. Even though it was “only” 80 degrees that is still warm to be pulling that many people. The current 95 degree rule is unfathomable and cruel. The majority of people can’t even be out in that temperature for more than 1/2 hour let alone pulling someone. Just try it. This is just another reason why tourists shouldn’t be exploiting animals. Look at the donkeys used to transport people from the cruise ships once they land in Santorini Greece! It’s cruel and there’s no need for other than people’s own need of laziness to not walk, and greed for entertainment and revenue.

    Reply
      • Lilah says:

        Generally they are just slipping on pavement that has had hydrocarbons (oil, grease) spilled, and so they are more slipping than falling. Because they have 4 feet, and are supported in the harness, they can usually fall pretty gracefully. Two different times, my mare as cantering in footing that was too deep, thanks to our barn’s stall cleaners dumping stall contents into the arena on cold, windy days. She made sure, both the time I was riding her, and the time that my friend Manette was riding her, to fall so gently, that we simply hopped off and to the side. Slipping happens thanks to humans dripping and spilling slick substances. If I were a draft horse, I would happily occasionally slip on the pavement, versus being “retired to a happy pasture” on a truck bound for Mexico, no food or water for days, then stabbed in the back with scissors until I a paralyzed enough to e lifted up by one rear leg, then have my throat slashed open, all while I am awake and aware. EVen if I am stolen, my microchip will be tossed aside in the pile of dead foals, gotted from mare just about to foal them. I’m all for regulation, but don’t doom these beautiful and intelligent animals to slaughter, just so that real estate monsters can tear down their barns and put up apartments or storage units. Be very, very careful about articles like this. You are being manipulated.

      • Shauna says:

        After some research I found out Big John is 22 years old. The average life expectancy of a horse is 25-30 yrs so he is well past his prime to be pulling people in a huge carriage (let alone obese people at that).

      • Agg says:

        Sue, If you tuck and roll, even a fall on cement will only slightly bruise. My father was 6’3″ and 250 lb and a volunteer firefighter. When his ladder slipped out from under him, when he was 2 stories up, he rolled and only had 2 small bruises. Horses have extra legs on the ground, especially when pulling at a walk, and so yes, they can plan their fall a lot more gently than a never aikido trained human in high heels.

        Shauna, those estimates are old and are not broken out by gender. Geldings live a lot longer than mares and stallions, some easily to age 40. World records go out to the 60’s for a pair of Welsh gelding twins int he UK, and 70 for donkey. Reproductive cancers can be so bad for all animals, especially female cats, that the best way to increase a female cat’s life is to remove her reproductive organs. Horses can pull for many more years than they can carry, and some draft mares can pull through most of their pregnancies, as long as they can fit in the shafts.

        As a runner even I have slipped on oily blacktop. As long as he is healthy and not in pain, let him do his job. A horse without a job is hamburger until you can find a way to outlaw it.

      • ellen cottone says:

        You mean Another stupid question?
        About the same amount of pain you felt when you fell on your head. But really, he was checked out by a vet so in answer to your question none or he would be lame or limping.

    • Sue says:

      Lilah, So, you are telling us that horses who weigh a ton can “gracefully” fall on cement and not feel pain or incur injury. And you, like the rest of the defenders of this cruel exploitation, threaten that if the drivers are not allowed to keep their horses and treat them in whatever fashion they choose, the alternative is the slaughterhouse, when that is EXACTLY where they are presently “retired” to when they are no longer “useful.”

      The people who are working to put through laws to protect the horses, are wording them so as to protect them from BOTH the abuse and the slaughter, which is the situation they are in right now.

      So, I’m very aware of where the manipulation is coming from, and it is not from the article.

      Reply
      • ellen cottone says:

        sorry agg but there is no tuck and roll when a 250 lb person falls its just broken bones and ruptured organs. a tuck and roll may work laterally but in a vertical drop its kiss your ass goodby. Sorry
        but the visual of big John doing a tuck and roll is comedy. Maybe he slipped on a bannana peel while he was smoking his cigar.

      • Agg says:

        Ellen, are you for real? This entire discussion has degraded far below that of the horses’ welfare. Now you are telling me that my 250lb 6’3″ father broke his bones when he tucked and rolled from the 2nd floor level? Really. I saw his two small bruises. He went to work the next day. Take an Aikido class sometime, or like my dad did, become a volunteer fireman and practice falling. Oh, that’s right, you are too busy exercising your fingers.

        And yes, horses can and do control the way they fall. He is conected to the shafts and has 4 feet. When one foot slips, it is not unlike one of those “low speed” falls we all experience, tetering on whether we do or don’t actually fall. It happens. Really. It happens while people are riding too, and if your horse has a choice, and likes you, they actively try to not fall on top of you.

      • ellen cottone says:

        No agg,
        I didnt say your father broke anything I said tuck and roll does not apply in a 2- story free fall. I said its inpossable a tuck and roll may cut speed of inpact laterally. but not a vertical drop. im calling you a lier. Nobody drops 2 storys and walks away with 2- bruises . Sorry nobody drops 2- stores and walks again.

        Horses if they like you?? Actally if your riding a horse and he goes down he will roll over you twice if he likes you or not.
        With you underhim or not the only chance you have of not being crippled for life is if you can push away from him compleatly. but more often you are trapped . Likes you or not he needs to roll twice to get up. Anything else I can clear up, Bucky? I do consider it my public service. With me you walk away knowing something. Like it or not.

      • Agg says:

        Ellen, Why on earth do I need to reference reality for you?

        multiple real life cases
        http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_1_5/847632_How_far_can_you_drop_roll_fall_without_breaking_bones_.html

        And let me explain how a horse can fall so slowly, you can literally hop off of them. Imagine a left lead canter around a left turn, in too-soft footing. If your horse goes out of her way to lean _IN_ to the turn, she maintains her upright body orientation long enough for you to hop off to the outside of the turn. It happens often. Really.

  12. Laura says:

    I wish I could tell Big John and all the others: We’re so sorry for “us” and for your painful, grim existences. We’re trying to stop your being shackled and enslaved and forced to work to exhaustion continually in chaotic, dangerous city traffic (and to die tragically there someday) and elsewhere, to earn money for such hard-hearted people. We want you free and happy in green pastures with warm shelters, where you can die peacefully someday after long pleasant lives among other friendly horses.

    Now on to those who oppose all that…

    I scanned through some of the comments and wow; these “horse lovers” supporting the carriage industry are suddenly talking as if they’re opposed to animals being slaughtered to feed spoiled arrogant cruel people? They think horse sanctuaries are covert horse-meat dealers (Freudian slip revealing their own intentions) and that anti-carriage activists’ real goal is to open up storage facilities where stables now exist, and that carriage horses’ injuries and deaths are faked or deliberately caused by antis for publicity? Seems like these carriage fans are writing from Bellevue or some other asylum. Insanity seems the only explanation for their bizarre accusations. If insane, they know not what they do; if not insane and only cruel, dishonest and greedy, then they’re fully culpable. Karma won’t be fun for them.

    Aside from all that, horse meat is likely consumed by wealthy horse lovers such as those who see animals as things to be used and who obviously eat lots of fatty “delicacies” like foie gras, going by their ripe-for-heart-attack and/or -stroke appearances. I’d bet they all have that “I love animals…they’re delicious!” bumper sticker on their hummers. Did I guess right? I can just imagine the denials coming now…which, unless they’re honest and sane, will be ignored by me. 1–100 odds right there.

    Reply
    • ellen cottone says:

      laura,
      How sad you are. You seem to be suffering. No you did not get any of it righ, I glad you asked. One of my favorite was the rich people eating horse meat, no i think its poor people and dogs who eat horse meat , for now any way.
      Your hilarious and just so sad. and so uninformed and such an johnny come lately. are you looking for something to do with your time? instead of getting it ALL wrong. How about this laura.
      What is your solution? and tell me more about about the green pastures…. and warm shelters (do you mean barns, dig bat?) so any suggestions laura? and try and remember laura a horse is not a cat. A horse is an animal you know nothing about or have been anywhere near in your entire life. But most of all Do not speak for anyone here but your sorry ass self.
      so what are you going to do about it laura? Absolutly Nothing!?
      I thought so.

      Reply
      • Sue says:

        Well, THAT is hilarious, ellen, misspellings, bad grammar, and all. Obviously you are ignorant of the fact that the horse meat industry caters to wealthy people, particularly in Europe and Japan, besides invading other, less “glamorous,” industries.

        One has to wonder why someone who alleges to be an animal person would defend such maltreatment, and threaten “it’s this or the slaughter house” when, in fact, both the abuse and then the slaughterhouse, go together.
        Here are excerpts from investigations done by real animal activists:

        “The horses are forced to work in heavy NYC traffic congestion for 9 hours day, 7 days a week. In the park, it’s not much better with a different kind of congestion. They live in multi-storied stables on the upper floors in stalls that are a fraction of the size they should be. And to add insult to injury, there’s no turnout to pasture. Nothing. The horses work all day between the shafts of their carriage only to come back to a small confining stall.
        It’s a punishing existence. We have documented evidence that between 60 and 70 horses fall off the rolls of the Department of Health every year because they do not make the grade to work in the carriage trade anymore. The only place for unwanted horses to go is the slaughter auctions. The city does nothing to protect these horses. There’s no accountability in the law and no requirement for documentation to show where the horses end up.” – Elizabeth Forel

        “Last Chance for Animals is working to end the cruel horse-drawn carriage industry in New York City, in which horses live in misery, monotony and pain. Forced to work nine hours a day, seven days a week in extreme weather conditions, the horses live a dismal nose-to-tailpipe existence until they are “retired” and sold off at auction – and often sent to Mexico or Canada for slaughter.

        “LCA undercover investigators documented the sad reality that NYC horses endure every day, and revealed horses deprived of food and water, made to pull carriages while obviously in pain, and tethered so tightly in their stalls at night they could not lie down. See the full investigation results here.” – LCA website

      • Laura says:

        What???? Well, you don’t seem 100% insane, and sadly I think you’re being honest about your opinions, so I’ll reply. I know horses extremely well and love and respect them, so of course you find me “sad and uninformed” and all that. But I think any readers can see who’s in fact a “sorry ass,” etc.. I had a horse for 14 years who was euthanized at age 25 due to old age and suffering…she was not sent to a slaughterhouse as I’d seen so many “horse lovers” do to their “beloved property” at the end. As far as their having freedom in green pastures with shelters from the weather and other needed care provided by humans when humans have made them dependent upon us, taken them from their natural lives? Outrageous, I know, that’s for cats! Haha, you’re unbelievable. I was around and working with horses and among many horse people daily for many years, even prior to getting my own dear horse (who I used a hackamore bridal on…no bit in mouth). Those people included those of the rodeo and horse show varieties, so I know ALL about the exploitive breed of horse people (most of them) and their “love” for the horses. And btw, some of them would even abuse the barn cats aside from beating their horses. And no, horse meat is not generally eaten by “poor people”…it’s a “delicacy” in certain cultures for haughty foodies who love to say they’ll eat anyone, dogs/cats/horses included…they travel and indulge in other cultures, they “do as the Romans do,” as long as it’s vile. It’s why horse exploiting industries like the carriage owners and others oppose legislation against horse meat…it’s a handy way for them to dispose of their slaves when done using them, and to make a bit of money off their slaughtered bodies as well, instead of spending any more on them. I’d bet you’ve eaten horse meat (even if it’s ground up with the cows in your hamburgers) and that you absolutely love foie gras too…surely you’re not opposed to eating animal products, so why would you not eat that? Funny how you got so angry at what I said and resorted to attempted insults and swearing. Hmmm, thou doth protest too much, it seems. But there’s no need for me to have replied, really, your “thoughts” and “writing” say more than enough all on their own, lol. So thank me for indulging you so much. You’re welcome. Btw, I made this all one paragraph on purpose, so you have to concentrate more. No need to thank me there.

      • ellen cottone says:

        So laura dont take it personally but what are you doing about It! Look at the time and energy you are wasting on ellens spelling. You are wasting time putting words in peoples mouths. How do you know how anyone of us feels about animals working in captivity from one incident, second hand information or worse. Im happy you are moved to take action but dont you think that action should be directed to … The consumer? and the agency the presides over the industry? instead of wasting your time and precious energy on spelling and grammer? Oh you are so wasting your time.
        But i can tell you have a lot of it to waste.

        To be honest, I stopped with the rich people in japan eating horse meat. Blather on about your freshly googled one sided information. But if you really want to sleep at night laura maybe you should stop wasting time with pretend enemys and protest to the individuals who get your ire up.
        But thats not really you is it. You dont really do anything but complain.You like to get your self worked up dont you? Instead of getting your self worked up over nothing, Get up and Get busy!!

        Then youll have something to talk about. How you changed something for animals around us.
        Go find those people who are makeing you sick to your stomach. Because its not me who makes you mad. Actally you make your self sick. You are powerless. I dont blame you for not following thru
        Because if you did confront those people you know they will just laugh in your face.
        Anyone would.

        P.S.
        I have no idea what your thoughts are it just got boaring, so i went back to watching T.V
        Its just more of the same dated and out dated material.

        Hey laura, theres a reason why the livery industry is still here today. Do you understand why?
        I bet you do.

      • ellen cottone says:

        Wow sue,
        Now, Not only are you putting words in my mouth your putting heinous food in my mouth.
        Do you get a rise out of spinning your false fantasys about people you dont know? Is that your thing?
        Well you sound angrey and fustrated because you do nothing to make it better, you just sound off with your nonsense. And your stupid bumperstickers,

        But on the subject of foie gras. A restaurant in my town offered it on their menu and made a local comercial. What i did that friday was make a 5foot sign with a depiction of the force feeding a goose. We did this for the first night from 6pm -10pm. I didnt do this with 60 people we were 3- people. That takes Balls. Police were called but we have a right to protest. I held my sigh under my chin and looked without emotion deeply in everybody eyes who walked to the front door.
        I would not speak unless someone asked.That was the deal thats why we could stay.
        the restaurent lost bussiness. so many people stopped to ask what it was about that a foot cop was called to move extra people from clouding up the side walk.

        I am a peacful person who wanted people( the consumers and the vendors) to understand the “special feeding process”. So needless to say a thriving bussiness is more inportant then a side dish The item was taking off the menu. I havent even thought about this for 2- yrs untill you made the mistake of acussing me of eating that. but instead of your anger, find your self a project. funnel some of that anxt into makeing a stand for some real change. youll like your life better.

      • Sue says:

        Are you high on something, ellen? It appears you morphed Laura and me into one person named Laura.
        In response to how do we know “how anyone feels about animals working in captivity,” (meaning you) we know because you have expressed your feeling about it many times, right here.

        Despite your vacuous accusations, you have NO IDEA what Laura is doing about the situation (and you have made a great many ASSumptions in your several comments). She is doing everything she can, short of taking a machine gun to the crooked politicians, and everyone associated with the industry. But you, as “anyone” would “laugh in {her} face,” which shows, once again, that you defend animal abuse, and have no way of justifying your position, so out come the insults, assumptions (and the bad spelling and grammar, LOL).

      • Laura says:

        Wow, what can anyone even say in response to Ellen, but I’ll try. First, thank you Sue for what you wrote, I agree fully.

        Now, Ellen refers to herself in the third person which alone is troubling, suggesting an insane level of arrogance, or something. Or did she think she was writing from one of her other troll accounts in defending “Ellen”? Ah, that’s more like it. And she talks about too much spare time for me, and people laughing in my face? LMAO!

        Then she attributes Sue’s comment about her spelling and grammar to me, in reply to Sue. What?? Then she replies to Sue from my comment about the foie gras and attributes the almighty power of her standing outside a restaurant with a big sign for getting foie gras off their menu?? Yeah, right, funny how the restaurant name isn’t mentioned so we can see if they did remove the item. Now she’ll probably come back with, “Well, that restaurant got shut down,” and also attribute that to her almighty powers of persuasion. (Conveniently, she didn’t address the horse meat in her hamburgers though.) Only things I can find where foie gras got removed from menus are where restaurants and their customers were threatened with violence or attacked by people I’m sure “Ellen” (et al) hates with a passion. I mentioned foie gras because the same sort of people who eat that also eat horse/dog/cat meat when presented with them as foodie delicacies. So Ellen came up with her little story to prove what, exactly?

        She also seems jealous of my spare time, but that’s only a ruse since it’s obvious she has even more of that than I do. Spare time is great though, I love it and being semi-retired, and I use it well. She also pretends to know what I do (or don’t do) to help animals and hints that I should go out and “find those people” who are abusing them and do what? Violence? Death threats? Or go hold up a sign and get an item taken off a menu in my fantasies like she “did”? But of course she doesn’t include carriage horse enslavers in that abuser group, now does she. Nor those who threaten with, “Stop fighting our use them or off to the slaughterhouse they go!” How convenient that our heroine is a champion for carriage horse enslavers while purporting to be some heroic, righteous, miraculously effective revolutionary against certain other forms of disgusting abuse.

        I’m sure she’d like for me to go out and do a “terrorist” act (like Sue said, with a machine gun) and end up in jail, instead of effectively changing minds online and elsewhere with truthful information, as Cheryl Hanna does even better. Not that it wouldn’t be fantastic to really have effective power to stop animal abusers in their tracks. But our “animal enterprise” protections (championed by the Ellens of the world) prevent all that. Isn’t it all “interesting”?

      • ellen cottone says:

        Dear Suelaura,
        Sorry if the truth bothers you. Sorry if you have nothing better to do with your time. but most of all im sorry your both waste so much time wasting your breath on me.Its going nowhere.
        Really, Isnt there a better use of your time? No?,
        I didnt think so.
        Your foolish to let me get under your skin. clearly your helpless.

      • ellen cottone says:

        Oh ill dumb it down since your all over the place. A restaurant doesnt need foie gras and it pissed me off and so did the cable commercial trying to stir reintrested in the menu item. That was the point you brought it up I havent thought about it in 2 years. It was easy to do something about it that is the point That instead of sitting around with your long lists of complaints get up and make change. You could at least try. That pretty much is the message thru all my comments. But you know what some of your problem is you are angry with anothing person because You, yes You have done nothing to make the world a better place.
        Show me im wrong.
        Your giving me the giggles though on closed restaurants and other fake accounts I think your confusing me with cathleen druid, shes Rebecca and cindy ha-something. Feel free to say anything you want but remember. Your talking to your self. Im not a real person in your world. you dont know me, you dont know where I live or what I spend my time doing or what my profession is
        But again I keep repeating. Find a cause theres plenty and get up and get busy. It may get you out of that Pissy mood your in. If its not terminal.

    • ellen cottone says:

      And you Still see hummers!?
      Are you sure your not just experiancing flash backs from yester year along with all the other phychotic impairments of your reality

      Reply

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  1. […] over the safety and well-being of horses who are forced to work on busy city streets. In April, a carriage horse stumbled and fell (or collapsed according to some) in Charleston, South Carolina. The horse, “Big John,” […]

  2. […] Heartbreaking video shows Charleston carriage horse down on the ground – read the story here. […]

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