Carriage companies facing backlash after horse falls during tour

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)– Carriage companies are facing criticism after a carriage horse fell in Downtown Charleston on Wednesday.

The incident was caught on camera and the video has since been shared thousands of times.

The video has raised concerns about the treatment of carriage horses in Charleston.

The horse, Big John, is owned by Charleston Carriage Works but Tommy Doyle of Palmetto Carriage Works says the industry as whole is feeling the repercussions.

He says several of his tour guides and customers have been harassed while on tours.

A carriage horse that fell in Downtown Charleston Wednesday will not return to service until it is cleared by an equine veterinarian.

The horse was already examined by the city’s equine manager.

According to police, the horse, Big John, slipped and fell while rounding the corner of Meeting and Hassel streets.

Charleston Carriage Works owner tells us it’s likely the horse tripped on its own feet.

Some witnesses say the horse collapsed.

Charleston’s Livability Director, Dan Riccio, told police Big John suffered minor scratches and that the fall did not appear to be heat-related.

According to Riccio, the horse sat up immediately after the fall and was helped back to its feet.

Carriage company employees took the animal back to a barn for an exam.

News 2 was first alerted to the story by the Charleston Animal Society.  The organizations initial news release stated that the horse collapsed.

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