CAS calls for review of carriage horse incident; Company says horse doing fine

Published: Jul. 21, 2015 at 6:33 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 21, 2015 at 7:44 PM EDT
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Photo by Old South Carriage Company released Tuesday afternoon.
Photo by Old South Carriage Company released Tuesday afternoon.
Scene in downtown Charleston on Friday (Source: WCSC)
Scene in downtown Charleston on Friday (Source: WCSC)
A lift brought in to assist in the incident. (Source: WCSC)
A lift brought in to assist in the incident. (Source: WCSC)

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - The Charleston Animal Society has formally requested Mayor Joe Riley to start an independent review of the carriage horse incident that happened last week in downtown Charleston.

The horse, named Blondie, fell last Friday morning on East Bay Street and North Anders Wharf after getting spooked by a cement truck, according to the Charleston Police Department. 

Police say the horse then went in one direction, while the carriage with 11 passengers went the other way.

"Reports indicate that the horse named Blondie was spooked by a cement mixer truck, then collapsed onto the hot pavement where he lay for approximately 2 hours unable to stand until heavy machinery was brought in to lift him to his feet," read a statement by CAS released Tuesday afternoon."The Animal Society is committed to ensuring that incidents such as what occurred to Blondie will be prevented in the future."

The Old South Carriage Company, who owns Blondie, said the horse eventually got up and was able to walk into a trailer by its own after the fall.

The horse was then transported to a veterinarian.

The company released a statement Tuesday afternoon on Facebook stating Blondie was home after being under the care of vets at the Edisto Equine Clinic for precautionary measures.

"He is perfectly sound and healthy! Blondie will now be resting, relaxing, and grazing at our 65-acre pastureland Sugah Cain Plantation on John's Island," Old South officials said on Facebook.

Company officials said the incident was not a heat related issue.

Following the incident, the Charleston Animal Society released a statement Friday afternoon calling for a review of the incident. 

On Tuesday afternoon, CAS officials said they were formally requesting the mayor to start an independent review.

"We applaud the Mayor for recognizing that the incident needs to be evaluated to avoid it from happening again," stated Joe Elmore, Chief Executive Officer for Charleston Animal Society. "Mayor Riley has a history of taking swift action and bringing together the best qualified people to study and solve issues. To that end, Charleston Animal Society is offering its highly credentialed staff to participate in a fully transparent and independent review so that all of us can learn from this incident and prevent what happened to Blondie from happening again.

According to CAS officials, the organization "is not opposed to the use of horses and other equines in pulling carts and carriages for hire, provided that all of the animals' physiological and behavioral needs are fully met, housing and stable conditions are humane and their working hours and conditions are carefully regulated and independently monitored as to temperature, humidity, proximity to traffic, rest periods, etc."

Old South Carriage Company officials also released a video on their Facebook page of Blondie walking around on Johns Island.

"He will enjoy 30+ days of rest, relaxation, and playtime," the Facebook post read.

Copyright 2015 WCSC. All rights reserved.