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Carriage company responds to social media concerns on horse injury, witness speaks out

Photo Source: Live 5 News Photo Source: Live 5 News
CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -

Pictures from a carriage horse injury in downtown Charleston are going viral on social media.

As of Monday night the post had more than 10,000 shares on Facebook and that number keeps growing by the hour. 

Christine Bergmann was in downtown Charleston when the horse Berry starting coming out of his shoe while giving a carriage tour.

"You could tell he was in pain, because of the way he was limping and because of the way he was trying to keep his leg up and trying to kick the horse shoe off which he did eventually kick it off," Bergmann said. 

She starting recording and posted the video on Facebook and her daughter also posted pictures sparking concerns among viewers. 

Classic Carriage Works general manager, Tim Manley, says the post doesn't tell the full story.

Manley says what happened to Berry can happen anywhere including a field.

"Berry stepped down on part of the shoe toe clip so that it cut the end side of his hoof a little bit and he ended up with some blood loss because of it," he said.

He says he can understands why people had a big reaction because of the blood on the street. 

"I think the pictures have a big message and impact when you see them," Bergmann said.

Manley says you also have to consider the size of the animal.

"Relatively speaking that's a lot of blood for a human, it's not really a lot of blood for a 2,000 pound horse," Manley said.

City Officials say the the horse threw the shoe on King Street. Manley says the workers giving the carriage tour called for help when that happened, but they waited to stop the ride on Market Street to unload passages away from traffic.

"I don't feel like it would have been dangerous for him to stop earlier than he did," Bergmann said.

Some witnesses reported parts of Berry's hoof came off.  Manley said it didn't and that people were seeing a material used for extra padding on the shoe, and not part of the hoof. 

"That may feel charming but the days for that are gone, because we're on concrete and pavement now this is not dirt roads anymore, we don't need horses to lead us around," Bergmann said.

Classic Carriage Works has an open door policy, Manley says anyone can visit to check on Berry or see how they operate. 

"Don't assume that you know the story based on a few stories or a few rants," Manley said.  "It's really a privilege to be able to work with these magnificent horses on daily basis."

Manley says the horse didn't bleed overnight and he is expected to make a full recovery. 

The Charleston Animal Society is looking into the incident and the City of Charleston officials say the city's equine manager will monitor Berry's care.

Copyright 2016 WCSC. All rights reserved.

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