A lawyer representing Carolina Polo and Carriage Co. requested Monday that a jury consider 11 city code citations.
City officials issued the company six citations and five more after the company allegedly failed to meet deadlines to bring the operation to code.
Standing before Municipal Judge Michael Molony, defense attorney Capers Barr said Carolina Polo's veterinarian would talk with the city-paid veterinarian. Barr said some of the violations amounted to little more than "differing advice."
Had he not been on vacation when the citations were given, Barr told Molony, "I don't even know if these tickets would have been before you today."
Barr suggested the company and the city could resolve the citations before the next court date but that the company requested the trial to buy time to do just that.
"I guess the point is, I don't think there are any issues that are threatening, that have not been brought into compliance," he added.
But city attorney Ravi Sanyal told Molony that if the cases make it to trial next month, he planned to pursue convictions.
After court, Sanyal said, "I have a feeling he's going to be talking to us between now and then try to try work this out."
Each code violation carries a maximum penalty of nearly $1,100 and the city could move to suspend the company's operations depending upon the trial's outcome.
The municipal court hearing stemmed from the city's most comprehensive inspection of all horse-driven tour operators. A veterinarian's report, completed last month, noted concerns with each of the five companies and set deadlines to correct those problems.
The inspection found that Carolina Polo gave its horses the lowest quality feed and hay, provided altered medical records and used bleach to clean stalls. Urine in the stalls produces ammonia which, when mixed with bleach, creates toxic gas.
Though unrelated, the city released its inspection findings shortly after a woman who boarded horses for Carolina Polo accused manager Robert Knoth of neglecting his animals. Nancy Lane contacted People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals before sending a letter to the city outlining five horse deaths over the past two years.
She appeared in court Monday as an observer. A city investigation into her allegations remains ongoing.
Read more in Tuesday's editions of The Post and Courier.