nessed a tragedy in action downtown on King Street. While driving some out-of-town guests toward the Battery, a runaway horse galloped toward our car from behind. He charged right past my car and headed to the intersection of Broad and King streets without stopping.
The carriage driver could not stop him, though he was pulling back on the reins and giving verbal commands. The two passengers in the carriage were petrified.
We watched in horror and prayed that no one would get hurt. They galloped straight through the intersection and pulled over to the side of the street on the other side of Broad.
This antiquated, dangerous and abusive form of transportation needs to stop. Do we really want to risk the injury to and death of these beautiful creatures, not to mention harm to vehicles, tourists and carriage riders, to preserve some outdated antebellum charm?
Do horses really need to be lugging folks around the city while inhaling exhaust from vehicles and being put in harm’s way for our pleasure and entertainment? Sometimes one horse pulls up to four rows of passengers, 12 passengers in all. Really?
Cities around the country are being asked to disband carriage rides. If you want to see the long list and images of catastrophes within the horse-drawn carriage industry, one search on the Internet will suffice.
There are ban-horse-drawn-carriage movements across the nation. I always felt that this was a questionable practice, but after witnessing firsthand a runaway horse on King Street in the thick of traffic, any grain of doubt has been erased from my mind.
Animal lover or not, the horse-drawn carriage industry needs to be one attraction that Charleston doesn’t offer.