South Beach nightclub’s license revoked after horse ridden into bar

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What in the world was someone thinking when they brought a horse into a South Beach, Florida nightclub as the music blared and an exotic dancer tried to ride the scared equine through the crowd?

The disturbing scene occurred at the Mokai Lounge on Thursday evening, after a scantily clad dancer fell off the panicky horse being led around by a rope.  A man tried to calm the animal after the horse lost his footing and fell; a video of the debacle outraged animal advocates. Social media erupted in disgust, and for the last 24 hours, animal advocates have bombarded the phone lines and email addresses of Miami Beach City Hall and police demanding action on this despicable deed of animal cruelty.

According to the Miami Herald, City Manager Jimmy Morales revoked Mokai’s business license Friday afternoon, citing a threat to public safety and the city’s animal cruelty laws as sufficient evidence to shut down the club, located at 235 23rd Street.

“I was disgusted and offended that any legitimate businessperson would think this was an appropriate action to take,” Morales stated in a press release on Friday afternoon. “This activity was not permitted and as soon as we became aware, I immediately instructed staff to act swiftly in remedying this situation.”

An investigation continues, led by the Miami Beach Police and the code enforcement department, but after reviewing “multiple videos/media clips” the frightened horse could be seen bucking the bikini clad rider off in the club. Eyewitnesses have also supplied authorities with statements.

The club is now closed, and according to city spokesperson Tonya Daniels, the license revocation is permanent, however the club can appeal the ruling. The owner of the club, Roman Jones, has denied any part in the stunt. The horse has been located and according to his handler was not injured. According to Jones, the marketing director, who arranged the horse and the dancer, has been suspended.

Social media participants have written numerous posts on Facebook claiming this was not the first time live animals have been used in the club; citing a camel circulating among customers and another white horse with the name Mokai painted on its side.

“Animal cruelty is an abhorrent and vile act. I fully support the immediate actions taken by the City Manager and his staff to ensure that this is remedied quickly,” Mayor Dan Gelber of Miami Beach stated.

(Photos of South Beach club with horse inside via Facebook)

Read the original coverage here.

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5 replies
  1. Marni says:

    That is great the authorities acted quickly. If people don’t have enough common sense not to abuse animals, then the law has to tell them. Glad the horse is ok, but shouldn’t this animal be taken away from the owner who allowed this?

  2. Red says:

    Thank you City Manager for your quick actions! This poor horse must have been terrified in that tight, people filled room.


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